Sunday, 18 November 2012

History: Richard Wright’s Photographs of Ghana -1953



Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: I can’t stop looking at the incredible collection of black & white photographs by Richard Wright -taken on a trip to Ghana in 1953, a few years before Ghana’s independence on the 6th March 1957 and way before the Akosumbo dam…

The thing is, -come closer I’m going to have to whisper this!!!! Looking at the above photographs, I’m wondering ….was the Gold Coast as Ghana was called back then, - really ready for independence??? -Taboo? I know!!!!

Not that we shouldn’t have gone in for independence folks. -Only that the Living [back then] wasn’t easy at all… -And whilst some would argue that the living isn’t easy today -I can for the first time…put my hand on my heart and say that there has been ‘some’ progress in Ghana -Amen (laughter)..

I remember some of the stories my father used to tell me about how tough Ghana was when he was growing up. And how they used to cherish the ‘common’ egg -which they only ate on Sundays because the rest of the time -they sold it to make money… And looking at some of these photographs; I can really see it!!! -I can see how an egg for breakfast on a Sunday morning or in the afternoon as part of their lunch -would have been a real treat -back then!!!

Basic amenities, basic housing, basic everything, -its amazing to see that even some of the well dressed [especially those in European garb] like the students with their books on their head -aren’t shod at all.

Still,….. I can’t see any plastic bags…which must mean that the gutters did what they were supposed to do -back then!!!

Gosh my people are strong!!!! I’m sooo proud to have come from such a strong race of people.. These photographs are very important. They have truly transported me to 1953 -and made 50’s Ghana , very, very real….

There are many more photographs in this collection -and they are well worth having a look through at:


Credit: All photos taken by Richard Wright on a trip to Ghana in 1953...


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