Exiles, Entrepreneurs, and Educators

African Americans in Ghana

By Steven J. L. Taylor

Subjects: Political Science, African American Studies, African Studies, History, Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Hardcover : 9781438474717, 156 pages, February 2019
Paperback : 9781438474700, 156 pages, January 2020

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Table of contents


1. African-American Migration to Africa Before 1966

2. From Republic to Regime

3. From Regime to Republic

4. Entrepreneurs and Educators

5. Organizations Founded by African-American Expatriates

6. Summary and Outlook


Compares the political activities of African Americans who settled in Ghana in the 1950s and 1960s with those who settled in the 1980s to the present.


After repeated coups and periods of military rule, Ghana is now one of Africa's longest enduring democratic republics. Exiles, Entrepreneurs, and Educators compares the political proclivities of two generations of African Americans who moved to Ghana. Steven J. L. Taylor blends archival and ethnographic research, including interviews, to provide a unique perspective on these immigrants who chose to leave an economically developed country and settle in an impoverished developing country. The first generation consisted of voluntary exiles from the US who arrived from 1957 to 1966, during the regime of President Kwame Nkrumah, and embraced both Nkrumah and his left-leaning political party. In contrast to the first generation, many in the second generation left the US to establish commercial enterprises in Ghana. Although they identified with the Democratic Party while living in the US, and were politically active, they avoided political activity in Ghana and many identified with the Ghanaian party that is modeled after the Republican Party in the US. Taylor dispels some of the incorrect assumptions about African politics and provides readers with an insightful look at how developing nations can embark upon a path toward democratization.

Steven J. L. Taylor is Associate Professor of Government at American University. He is the author of Desegregation in Boston and Buffalo: The Influence of Local Leaders, also published by SUNY Press.


"This book is an exciting addition to existing scholarship about African American expatriates in Ghana. " — April Copes, Anne Arundel Community College