Data Sources

Primary, secondary and tertiary sources are used in this site, each type fulfilling specific informational needs.

Primary Sources

Nkrumah's presentations and books provide the primary source material for this site's theoretical base. For the purpose of analysis, Nkrumah's published speeches are organized into three categories:

  1. theoretical,
  2. operational, and
  3. incidental.

The first category addresses theoretical, ideological, and epistemic perspectives. Questions of ethics and strategy also fall in this category but more often overlap into the operational field. Operational presentations give specific directions on action to be taken by an agency (e.g., movements, political parties, government, self-conscious organized social sectors, police, youth). Incidental speeches address events and important activities that Nkrumah chose to interpret to selective audiences.

Speeches deemed necessary for explaining Nkrumahist ideological positions were considered "key speeches." They were selected because of their relative comprehensiveness. Frequency of appearance in Nkrumah's and others' written works was also weighed. Some speeches were used to highlight Nkrumah's speech style in an effort to culturally locate his aesthetic and mobilizing techniques.

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Secondary Sources

Secondary sources informing this site1 have been categorized as published works of colleagues, comrades, and ideological partners. These are not hard and fast categories; they merely serve as tools to display the proximity that various authors and chroniclers had to Nkrumah and Nkrumahism. Of the secondary sources, information is ranked in importance from the ideological partner to the comrade to the colleague. In this way, the information source moves from inner to outer circles. The testimonials and writings of ideological partners helped to ascertain the impact of Nkrumahism on other key agents.

A note of caution must be made concerning the secondary sources. The world that Nkrumah participated in was full of intrigue and violent opposition. Many close colleagues, comrades, and ideological partners became enemies to Nkrumah. They made contributions during the time of their collusion with him. Two persons that were once closely related to Nkrumah as ideological partners and then later classified as opposition were Tawia Adamafio and Alexander Quaison-Sackey. Even Nkrumah's extra-Ghanaian partners, Sékou Touré, Modibo Keita, and Abd Al-Nasser did not always agree with his positions. This latter group, however, never opposed Nkrumah violently and, in the case of Touré, the camaraderie was genuinely familial.

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Tertiary Sources

From secondary sources, we move to tertiary sources. Mostly, these sources are used for frame working and cross-referencing. At this source level are the non-participant scholars and journalists. They are categorized as historians, social scientists, biographers, and professional journalists.

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1 Limited resources and my inability to read German caused me to omit the text written by Hanna Reitsch titled Ich flog fur Kwame Nkrumah. (1968) Milne speaks of Flight Captain Reitsch's correspondence with Nkrumah. Reitsch has unique pictures and information about the glider training school that existed in Ghana during Nkrumah's presidency and is worth investigation. Nkrumah also mentions the important work that Reitsch had done for the Young Pioneers.

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