In This Review

The Ghana Reader: History, Culture, Politics
The Ghana Reader: History, Culture, Politics
Edited by Kwasi Konadu and Clifford C. Campbell
Duke University Press, 2016, 496 pp.

This collection of essays, scholarly articles, newspaper reports, poems, and song lyrics provides a wonderful introduction to Ghana and its people, stretching all the way back to prehistoric times. Opening the book to virtually any page yields a judiciously selected text that reveals something about Ghana: Konadu’s reflections on the origins of Akan ethnic identity; a poem by Abena Busia about a famous private school in Accra that sits in what was once a dense forest with spiritual significance for locals; a lovely essay by Esi Sutherland-Addy about the funeral of a traditional king in eastern Ghana. The book ends with the poet Kwesi Brew’s laud of Ghana’s resilience: 

Love of family kith and kin and brother-keeping 
has cast us in this mould:
that while we take the blow and seem unhurt,
speechless, we also watch and wait.