In 1957, Ghana was the first African country to become independent of its colonial rulers, in this case the British. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of what in 1960 became the Republic of Ghana, called on Africans from all over the world to come to Ghana to help build the new nation. The most important aim was to “undo the damage caused by the slave trade” as filmmaker Shirikiana Aina expressed it in her documentary Footprints of Pan Africanism. Several people speak in Aina’s film about the reconstruction of Ghana and Nkrumah, who was deposed in 1966, offering room for their frequently gripping personal stories. These are often marked by racism, the emerging civil rights movement and what it’s like to be black and live elsewhere. For many, returning to Africa was like going home.
Aina’s documentary was produced by her husband, the director Haile Gerima (Teza, 2009).