Resolutions of the National Congress of British West Africa

(1920)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The NCBWA's resolutions, composed during the interwar years of the colonial period, constituted a vision of the African elite across British West Africa. The document is divided into eight sections, each listing a number of resolutions; the full text contains eighty-three resolutions.

“Legislative (Including Municipal) Reforms and the Granting of the Franchise and Administrative Reforms with Particular Reference to Equal Rights and Opportunities”

Under British rule, African subjects were allowed to participate in their own governance only in a secondary capacity. The indigenous leaders were advisers, and some of the British-educated Africans participated in legislative councils that were purely advisory, while others worked as junior administrators and civil servants. While the British practiced democracy at home, they were more autocratic in their dealings with the colonies. Consequently, they established no institutions to instruct...

Image for: Resolutions of the National Congress of British West Africa

Marcus Garvery, who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association, with branches in West Africa (Library of Congress)

View Full Size