The Journal of African History



Editorial

PROFESSOR EMERITUS ALBERT ADU BOAHEN (1932–2006)


  

On 24 May 2006, Professor Emeritus of History Albert Adu Boahen passed away on the evening of his 74th birthday. The first Ghanaian to receive a Ph.D. in African history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1959, and the first African to chair the Department of History at the University of Ghana in 1967, Adu Boahen was without a doubt Ghana's foremost historian and a distinguished statesman. His publishing career spanned some forty years, his works ranging from standard textbooks in use in Africa and the West to major interpretations of African history such as African Perspectives on Colonialism (1987), Mfantsipim and the Making of Ghana: A Centenary History, 1876–1976 (1996) and Yaa Asantewaa and the Asante–British War of 1900–1 (2003). A scholar–activist, he demonstrated a consistent opposition to dictatorial rule and military regimes that earned him stints in prison. In February 1988, on the platform of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which he was a fellow, he delivered three lectures under the title of ‘The Ghanaian Sphinx: Reflections on the Contemporary History of Ghana, 1972–1987’ that broke the ‘Culture of Silence’ of the oppressive Rawlings regime and inaugurated what has been termed the ‘second independence of Ghana’. Posthumously awarded the Order of the Star of Ghana on 30 June 2006 for distinguishing himself in academia and statesmanship, Boahen was given a grand state burial in July 2006. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of African History.

(Published Online December 4 2006)