oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Collective memory, merging enemies, consistency of word and place : Nkrumah’s rhetorical artefacts in the “Positive Action” protest

Volume 7 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



The 1950 riots in the Gold Coast which prefaced the first general elections under the British Colonial Government were called forth by a plethora of rhetorical performances of Kwame Nkrumah. On the 8th of January, 1950, Kwame Nkrumah, the Leader of the CPP, declared ‘Positive Action’ in the Gold Coast.  After the aftermath of the 28th February 1948 riots which shook the colony, the Watson Commissionwas set up by the Colonial Government to examine the causes of the nationwide unrest. Amongst its proposals, the Commission indicated the need for a constitutional review of the present Gold Coast constitution. In response to the latter proposal, the Coussey Commission was set up in December 1948 to review the constitution accordingly.  When it finally published its report in October 1949, it indicated an increase in African (referring to black Gold Coasters) representation in colonial governance but did not indicate a time frame for the independence of the Gold Coast.

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