Monday, September 09, 2013

Communism in the Gold Coast Research Project

Today I started writing an article about the communist movement in the Gold Coast in the 1930s. In particular the activities and ties to Soviet front groups of Isaac Wallace-Johnson, a radical from Sierra Leone who was engaged in communist agitation in the Gold Coast from 1933-1936. There is some secondary material available on JSTOR and there appears to be a fair bit in the PRAAD archives (I will have to go to the archives and check out these sources), but no full length history of communism in British West Africa has ever been written. Of course given that the number of communists in the Gold Coast was only a handful this is not too surprising. Their significance is also not as great as communist movements in Asia due to the success of the British colonial authorities in almost completely suppressing the movement. Nevertheless communism was an international movement during the 1930s and the role of British West Africa and the Gold Coast in particular in that movement still remains to be integrated into the larger narrative. Every piece of the jigsaw no matter how small is necessary to complete the puzzle. So I am currently working on fitting this small piece into the grand narrative of international communism during the 1930s. I got about three pages written today.

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