Anti-colonial revolutionary Thomas Sankara struggled to free his country, Burkina Faso, from the domination of foreign corporations and neoliberal economic institutions. And in 1987, he was assassinated for it.
Benjamin Talton is professor of history at Temple University and the author, most recently, of In This Land of Plenty: Mickey Leland and Africa in American Politics.
Anti-colonial revolutionary Thomas Sankara fought to transform Burkina Faso into a truly independent, self-governing nation before his assassination in 1987. But as a recent film shows, Sankara’s legacy continues to inspire struggles against oppression despite ruling elites’ efforts to erase him from public memory.
Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah was a postcolonial icon who tried to fight the forces of imperialism and capitalism to build a nation, continent, and world based on equality and self-government. That’s why, despite his faults, young people in Ghana today are resurrecting Nkrumah’s vision as a radical alternative to neoliberalism.