Blyden’s Philosophy and Its Impact on West African Intellectuals: Case of J.E. Casely Hayford of the Gold Coast (Ghana)

Author: Ahmed Bouchemal

Keywords: African problem, Casely Hayford,cultural nationalism Edward Wilmot Blyden, European Colonialism


This study examines the impact of Blyden’s philosophy on J.E. Casely Hayford of the Gold Coast (Ghana). It exposes Blyden’s ideas, a philosophy on Africans physical and intellectual emancipation, and points out the similarities in the thought of both men. Blyden toured different parts of West Africa and spoke with great intensity about the African problem and ways of its remedy. His ideas had a lot of influence at the time and precipitated the emergence of nationalist messiah who undertook a mission to redefine the African universe. This study examines the ideas and intellect of J.E.Casely Hayford and revealed that his thoughts were a potency of Edward Wilmot Blyden’s philosophy. An examination of his ideas reveals how Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford took an uncompromising stand against the derogatory and the glaring abuses of European colonialism. He shaped cultural nationalism that disdained the apparent repulsive and despotic colonial hegemony and fashioned a new outlook for fellow Africans to stand up as humans. This article concludes that Hayford, drawing on Blyden’s philosophy, succeeded in fashioning a culture of protest against all forms of black degradation and thus presented a continuity in black political thought that remained up to present.