Revolutionary Papers

Revolutionary Papers is a transnational research collaboration exploring 20th century periodicals of Leftanti-imperial and anti-colonial critical production. Read More

The Evening News

1948 – 1966

The Evening News: Where Thought and Action Converge

The Evening News was established by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party in 1948 and served as a vehicle to expose Ghanaians and Africans to Pan-African Consciousness. As the mouthpiece of the CPP, the paper spoke directly to three main constitutes‒members, the public and fellow freedom fighters. As the center of revolutionary activity in Ghana the paper is a resource that linked the leadership of the CPP to the masses. Campaigns, key decisions and shifts in strategy were reported in the Evening News. In 1950, the paper announced the launch of the Positive Action Campaign. The campaign was comprised of acts of civil disobedience aimed at destabilizing colonization and concretizing the larger populist.

In 1957, Ghana gained independence and the Evening News’s focus expanded to include articles, editorials and illustrations that interrogated the benefits of Socialism, highlighted ongoing Liberation struggles, and debated the absolute necessity of Pan-Africanism. The liberation struggle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the role of Patrice Lumumba were regularly featured in the Evening News. Particularly the assassination of Lumumba was covered extensively to display solidarity, express outrage, and directly confront those responsible. The paper also covered key Pan-African conferences and programmes that were essential to the movement. The All-African People’s Conference (AAPC) the first Pan-African conference held on the African continent was hosted by the CPP in December 1958. The AAPC attracted over 300 delegates including freedom fighters, leaders of governments and Pan-Africanists. The AAPC was a watershed moment in the history of independence in Africa and ushered in a forward march towards Pan-Africanism. It was at the opening ceremony that Kwame Nkrumah said, “This decade is the decade of African Independence‒Forward then to Independence‒to Independence Now‒Tomorrow the United States of Africa” (Nkrumah, 1958).

This project will analyze on the role of the Evening News in the success of the 1958 All-African People’s Conference. It will examine articles, illustrations, and editorials on this conference between November and December 1958. The study contends that the Evening News as a state apparatus supported the CPP’s strategy to politically educate Ghanaians and Africans to expedite the actualization of the United States of Africa. The coverage of the AAPC is no exception and the tested the limits of the paper’s reach. As a site of resistance and focal point for knowledge production and distribution this research argues that the CPP newspaper was instrumental to Ghana’s success a as Pan-African nation. In thinking about the use of popular education as a source of political education in the 21st century the Evening News is situated as a foreground to contemporary manifestations of Revolutionary news.

Mjiba Frehiwot

Mjiba Frehiwot is a Research Fellow at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana. She is in the History and Politics Section of the Institute. Her teaching, research and advocacy interests are in the areas of Pan-African Political Thought, African Diaspora, Cultural and Political Identity, Made in Africa Evaluation, and the Decolonisation […]