Worth noting that Obama, in an address on his departure from Accra airport yesterday, invoked King’s visit to Ghana 52 years ago. At Nkrumah’s invitation, King attended the independence ceremonies of Ghana from formal British rule.
“Freedom is your inheritance, hard won 52 years ago by men and women determined to cast off the title of subjects for the title of citizens, and claim for themselves and their children the liberties that are all of our birthrights. Dr. King came here to Ghana to witness the culmination of that struggle. He watched as the Union Jack was lowered and the Ghanaian flag was raised at the parliament. He marveled at the site of the Duchess of Kent dancing with the new Ghanaian President at the state ball. And in a sermon he gave upon returning home to America, he said of this new nation, “There is a great day ahead. The future is on its side.” Those words ring just as true today as they did more than half a century ago.”
Obama’s bow to Ghana’s historic hospitality was important. Nkrumah indeed aided the civil rights movement in the U.S. by extending an invitation to King — and then having then Vice President Richard Nixon turn up as well!