This study, as the title indicates, is concerned with the
West African aspects of the Pan-African movements of the 1920s and
I940s. It is not, however, strictly confined to West Africa; it
aims to see the subject under review in its widest context and within
the complicated network of ideas which characterised early Pan-Africanism. The aim is to study the subject both in depth and in
Accordingly, the study is divided into three parts. Part I,
which consists of chapters I and II gives a fairly detailed
historical background'as well as incorporating new material. It
covers the period from the Abolition era in America to the end of
the 1920s and the demise of the Du Boisian Pan-African congresses.
Part II consists of chapters III, IV^ V and VI, and is a detailed
study of an early pan-West African nationalist body - the National
Congress of British West Africa. . The period covered extends from
1918 to the end of the 30*s. Apart from a few cases, the bulk of
the material used in these chapters is entirely new; use has been
made of private papers and unpublished manuscripts and documents to
throw more light on certain questions relating to the N.C.B.W.A.
and to West African attitudes to transatlantic Pan-Negroism.
Part III comprises chapters VII, VIII and IX. Chapter VII seems
unusual in this type of study which generally assumes the nonparticipation of French-speaking Negroes (in our case, French-speaking
West Africans) in the early history of Pan-Africanism. Chapter VII
deals in some detail with the Pan-Negro thought and politics ofFrench Africans during the period 1921+-1936, and its inclusion
is perhaps a much needed departure from the standard histories of
Pan-Africanism. Chapters VIII and IX cover a fairly well known
phase of the Pan-African movement but the focus is mostly on West
Africa. The themes dealt with include the political impact of the
Italo-Ethiopian crises, the emergence of a new group of Pan-African
radicals both in London and in West Africa, and the evolution
of Kwame Nkrumah's ideas on political unification. Rare journals
and the Sekyi papers have been used in an attempt to reconstruct
and explain Nkrumah's early political views and attitudes.