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Adelaide Casely Hayford

(1868—1960) educationist and author


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(1868–1960), Sierra Leonean Pan-Africanist, feminist, and educator. Born Adelaide Smith into elite Krio (Creole) society in Sierra Leone, she moved with her family to England in 1872. Educated in both England and Germany, she was a prominent member of the emerging elite of the African diaspora. She became deeply affected by and attracted to many Western, middle-class, and feminist notions of womanhood at the same time that she was influenced by international currents of Pan-Africanism. In 1903, she married and moved to Ghana with Joseph E. Casely Hayford (1866–1930), a lawyer, journalist, politician, and founder of the National Congress of British West Africa, a moderate anticolonial organization. Their daughter, Gladys, became an internationally known poet. Permanently separating from her husband in 1914, Casely Hayford settled in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Paradoxically, her seemingly rootless life up until that time may have come both from a sense of alienation from elite African and European cultures and from widespread connections throughout the African diaspora.

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From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: History.


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