History professor organizes celebration for Lincoln alum
Issue date: 9/23/09 Section:
On September 21, 2009, Lincoln University held its Kwame Nkruma Centennial in the Ware Center Theater celebrating the 100th birthday of Kwame Nkrumah. Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana and crafter of Pan-Africanism in Africa, is an alumnus of Lincoln University as well as the inspiration for current African Union leaders such as Muammar al-Gaddafi.
"It was an inspiring program," said Prof. Glenn Burns. "We need to know our proper history."
Students, faculty and staff began pouring into the Theater at 3:55 pm. By 4:05 there were no empty seats.
Nkrumah's birthday was adopted as a holiday for all member states of the African Union by the 13th Ordinary Session of the Assembly in Sirte, Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya on July 3, 2009.
"I want the world to recognize Lincoln University's contribution to the educational experience of Kwame Nkrumah," said Dr. D. Zizwe Poe, an associate professor of history and the organizer of the event.
The program included six speakers of varying backgrounds. The program featured author and Afrocentrist scholar Molefi Kete Asante, William Kwame Dadson of the economic department, Lincoln University Board of Trustee member Tehema H. Smith, Howard University professor of systems and computer science John Tremble, Lincoln University Lecturer Abena Walker, and Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, a professor of sociology and African American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania who is also a contributor to PBS' The History Detectives series.
"I'm learning information that I didn't know before," said Jamaar Connor, a junior who is studying Mass Communications. "Everything is new."
The biographical information of Nkrumah was not the focus of the event. Topics such as The International Network on Appropriate Technology and the plan to focus on technology to empower Africa were presented. African political issues such as youth farming projects, land reclamation, and the issues of western interests across the African continent were also presented in detail.
"There are so many things in the world that most Americans have no idea about," said Dr. Donald Bradt, a professor of Political science, Bradt said that he believes that a unified Africa presents both challenges and opportunities. "I think the US could serve a growing Africa with education, accounting, and law," he said.
The student reaction to the presentation was highly positive.
"I like the fact that they upheld the honor of our brother Nkrumah," said Wayne Vanderpool, senior, of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Nkruma was a member of the Mu chapter of Phi Beta Sigma on Lincoln's campus.
The events on Monday September 21, 2009 was a part of a series of events designed to honor the life and legacy of Nkrumah "I think it was beneficial, I think we should have more commentary and more topics," said Nicole Young, senior," "This applies to all of us."http://media.www.thelincolnianonline.com/media/storage/paper1282/news/2009/09/23/News/Lincoln.Remembers.Nkrumah-3779044.shtml?reffeature=htmlemailedition