Joseph Boakye Danquah

(1895—1965) lawyer and politician in Ghana

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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)


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(b. 21 Dec. 1895, d. 4 Feb. 1965).

Ghanaian nationalist leader Born in Bepong, he became a law clerk at 17 and then secretary to his brother, a tribal chief. He studied law at the University of London from 1921, and in 1926 qualified as a lawyer at the English Bar. In 1927, upon completion of his doctoral thesis, he returned to the Gold Coast (now Ghana) to establish a law practice. In 1931 he set up a daily newspaper, the Times of West Africa, which gained immense popular influence and established him as a moderate leader of the nationalist movement for independence.

Danquah was elected to the Legislative Council in 1946, and in 1947 founded the colony's first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention, offering Nkrumah the post of general secretary. Imprisoned for incitement to violence in 1948, he became a leading figure in constitutional negotiations from 1949. Increasingly hostile to Nkrumah, he failed to be elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1954 and 1956. He was imprisoned 1961–2 and again in 1964 for criticism of Nkrumah's dictatorial methods. He died in prison.

Subjects: African Studies — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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