Edward Wilmot Blyden. The African Personality and Early Intellectual Work in the Gold Coast (Ghana)





There is a commonly held view that African nationalism took shape out of contacts of African intellectuals with twentieth-century Pan-African leaders. Yet, this interpretation lacked concrete evidence, as many of these intellectuals owed their ideological formulation to Nineteenth-century teachings of Edward Wilmot Blyden. In his writings, Blyden articulated a thorough understanding of African’s strengths and weaknesses. For Blyden, Western civilization intended to make the African a caricature of European society. As a result, the situation of the African became one of chaos as he lived in strict psychological conflicts. A revival of the African personality rested as a solution to the distorted manhood of the African and a path to his future progress. This article examines Blyden’s theory of the African personality as revealed in early intellectual work in the Gold Coast (Ghana). Drawing on Blyden’s African personality theory, the article revealed that these intellectuals begun a vigorous campaign to oppose Europeanization of the African system of life and took an uncompromising stand against ideas of black “inferiority” and “backwardness”.


Blyden, the African personality theory, Western civilization, intellectual, the Gold Coast,


Download data is not yet available.


  1. AttohAhuma,(1911)“TheGoldCoastNationandNationalConsciousness”,London: Cass.

  2. Blyden, E.W. (1908). African Life and Customs. London: C. M. Philis.

  3. Blyden, Edward Wilmot, (1888) “Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race”, Black Classic Press.

  4. Edwin W. Smith (1929) “Aggrey of Africa: A Study in Black and White”, London, Student Christian Movement.

  5. George, J.O.(1895), Historical Notes on the Yoruba Country and its Tribes, Lagos,Nigeria

  6. Gloria Chuku. (2014). African Intellectuals as Cultural Nationalists: A Comparative Analysis of Edward Wilmot Blyden and Mbonu Ojike. The Journal of African American History, 99(4), 350-378. DOI:10.5323/jafriamerhist.99.4.0350

  7. Hadžidedić, Z. (2021). No Capitalism Without Nationalism. Academicus International Scientific Journal, 12(24), 60-77.

  8. Hayford, C (1911). Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation. London: C.M. Philips.

  9. Kimble, A (1963), “Political History of Ghana: The Rise of Gold Coast Nationalism 1850-1928”, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  10. Langley,J,(1970),”Modernization and Its Malcontent: Kobina Sekyi of Ghana and the Re-statement of African Political Theory (1892-1956))”, Research Review Legeon.

  11. Lynch,H(1967).EdwardWilmotBlyden:Pan-NegroPatriot1832-1912.London: Oxford.

  12. Marsonet, M. (2010). National identity and global culture. Academicus International Scientific Journal, 1(01), 44-48.

  13. Meberbeche, Faiza (2010). Pan-Africanism and Its Impact on the Sierra Leonean Elite up to 1945. (Doctoral Dissertation). Abou Bekr Belkaid University, Tlemcen, Algeria

  14. Padmore, George, (1936), “The Gold Coast Revolution: The Struggle of an African People from Slavery to Freedom”, London:Dennis Dobson.

  15. Sarbah, John Mensah, (1906) “Fanti National Constitution”, 1906 repr. Londonr Cass.

  16. Shapley, Mark, (2003) “Developments in Black Theology: From Richard Allen to Marcus Garvey”, Michigan State University. Department of History.




How to Cite

Bouchemal, A. and Senouci, F. (2022) “Edward Wilmot Blyden. The African Personality and Early Intellectual Work in the Gold Coast (Ghana)”, Academicus International Scientific Journal. Vlora, Albania, 13(25), pp. 45–55. doi: 10.7336/academicus.2022.25.03.