Nkrumah’s legacy, feminism and the next generation

  • Amina Mama University of California


This lecture challenges the narratives of postcolonial failure to argue that Africans have accumulated valuable experiences that can lift us out of transgenerational obscurity and provide transformative lessons for the future. Among these are the legacies of Kwame Nkrumah and his vision of the interlinked nature of economic and cultural processes and his affirmation of women’s role in African liberation. The lecture reviews Nkrumah’s intellectual legacy to argue that aspects of this have been taken up in African feminist movements that give an afterlife to a praxis of African liberation. Characterized by transdisciplinary and activist approaches that link theory with practice, African feminism is strongest where it pursues the simultaneous transformation of political, cultural, and economic life. It is an approach exemplified in the digitally-curated, livestreamed Third Kwame Nkrumah Festival, and archived online.

Author Biography

Amina Mama, University of California

Amina Mama is Professor in the Dept of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Davis. A transdisciplinary feminist educator, researcher and organizer, Mama’s most influential works include The Hidden Struggle: Statutory and Voluntary Sector Responses to Black Women and Domestic Violence in London (Runnymede Trust 1989); Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity (Routledge 1995);  and Engendering African Social Sciences (co-edited with Fatou Sow and Ayesha Imam, CODESRIA 1997). She has 30 years of teaching experience on university campuses in Africa, Europe and the USA. Key career honors include her appointments to the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity at University of Utrecht (2004), the Angela Davis Guest Professor in Social Justice at the Cornelia Goethe Centre (2016), University of Frankfurt, and the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies (2020).  She continues to pursue collaborative action-research, documentation and film projects

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