By Funke Oyelade
The Kwame Nkrumah Lecture Series and Conference Inaugural Celebration took place at Bowie State University in the New Fine and Performance Arts Center on Sept. 19. The conference gave insight into the new Kwame Nkrumah Lecture Series that would be introduced at BSU this fall. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was an activist, philosopher, scholar and politician that lead Ghana in gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1957.
The conference captured the importance of Dr. Nkrumah and his Ghanaian heritage through the Kwame Ansah-Brew and the Fritete African Drum and Dance Ensemble, who wowed the crowd with their singing, dancing, and drum playing. About 30 faculty, staff, students and guests gave a standing ovations to the dance ensemble. The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Doreatha Mbalia, chair of the Department of Africology at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
The fraternity Phi Beta Sigma, a fraternity Dr. Nkrumah had been apart of, gave a few remarks about the man’s importance and influence on the world, before giving a step performance that gave tribute to Africa with the rhythm created by their hands and feet.
Next, ConneXions Reperatory Company performed a slow dance routine to a poem about the obstacles to freedom and persistence in never forgetting ones past or ancestors.
Dr. Thelma Thompson, former President of University of Maryland Eastern Shore gave closing remarks, marking the end of the conference, but the beginning of a series that would keep Dr. Nkrumah’s work alive.