KWAME NKRUMAH’S MIDNIGHT SPEECH FOR INDEPE… | Kirkus Reviews



The book opens with Kwame Nkrumah gazing at the British Union Jack while waiting alongside thousands of spectators. The Adinkra symbol for fawohodie (independence) is patterned into the blue of Nkrumah’s shirt and also in the stands that hold the crowd waiting to see, at the stroke of midnight, the joyous raising of the red, yellow, and green flag with a black star embedded in the center, the flag of a sovereign Ghana. Nkrumah’s proclamation, “And thus Ghana, your beloved country is free forever,” helps introduce the story of a tenacious man who fought for and gained freedom for his homeland. Illustrations of Nkrumah speaking, learning, and listening at various stages of his life are intentional and bold, chronicling the journey of an activist determined to speak out against British imperialism. Freeman uses bright colors and prints to find focus in her artwork. In one double-page spread a shadowed profile of Nkrumah is positioned opposite an image of the African continent rendered in different kente patterns, Nkrumah’s powerful words linking Ghana’s freedom with the liberation of all African countries from colonialism. Thoughtful backmatter that includes a timeline of Nkrumah’s life and accomplishments shows the care poured into sharing the words and works of a leader dedicated to his country and his people.



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