J. E. Casely Hayford

Ghanaian politician (1866-1930)

Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford, MBE (29 September 1866 – 11 August 1930), also known as Ekra-Agyeman, was a prominent Fante Gold Coast journalist, editor, author, lawyer, educator, and politician who supported pan-African nationalism. His 1911 novel Ethiopia Unbound is one of the earliest novels published in English by an African.

J. E. Casely Hayford

Quotes edit

Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation (1911) edit

Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation. C.M. Phillips. 1911. 
  • There has never lived a people worth writing about who have not shaped out a destiny for themselves, or carved out their own opportunity.
    • p. 1
  • Who says he is equal with God?
    Man is to-day, to-morrow he is not,
    Iam is from eternity to eternity.
    • p. 8
  • You are only drifting, drifting, drifting away from the ancient moorings that you Westerners built in sand. Jesus Christ came from the East. In Bethlehem he was born, and in Egypt was he nurtured; and, yet, you seek to teach Him us. We have caught His Spirit and live; you follow the letter and are tossed hither and thither by every wind. Forgive me when I say that the future of the world is with the East. The nation that can, in the next century, show the greatest output of spiritual strength, that is the nation that shall lead the world, and as Buddha from Africa taught Asia, so may Africa again lead the way.
    • Kwamankra to Whitely, p. 8
  • It had been felt for a long time by men of light and leading in Fanti-land that the salvation of the people depended upon education; that to educate the youths of the country properly depended upon trained teachers; and that it was the work of a university to provide such training ground.
    • p. 15
  • No people could despise its own language, customs, and institutions and hope to avoid national death.
    • p. 17
  • We worship that we do know.
    • Kwamankra to Whitely, p. 26
  • I do know, that gods are wont to make use of human instruments in approaching men. The Infinite finds expression in the finite, and the ideal is realised in the actual.
    • Kwamankra to Mansa, p. 34
  • Mutual understanding, the true basis of all happy unions.
    • p. 35
  • Humility becometh well the triumphant.
    • p. 55
  • Call me a thinker, a teacher, call me anything that is of the earth, but a god I cannot think that I am one, or can ever be.
    • Kwamankra to Mansa, p. 58
  • Unhappy they who raise their hopes upon the shifting sand.
    • Mansa to Kwamankra, p. 60
  • In the beginning evil and good were created, and to man was given the command to rule and subdue the evil, and to foster and cause the good to prevail. That is the final reason of human experience, and man becomes a god when he has won the victory. It consists in the building of character, and one star may differ from another star in glory. When mortality fails, the immortal in man prevails and finds its home here where, in the cycle of the heavens, in the case of great souls, it becomes a god dwelling in the temple which character hath fashioned. The temple hath truth for foundation, love for superstructure, and child-like trust for apex.
    • Mansa to Kwamankra, p. 61
  • To love truth, and to serve under its banner, come what may, that is courage truly, which will endure and stand the test of endless ages.
    • Mansa to Kwamankra, p. 62
  • If you know the history of this town, a momentary sweep of the eye will bring back to memory signs of a former strife; for overlooking the Bay, there stands the old Fort, a symbol of the strife between the Dutch and the English in pre-locomotive days. The struggle, in name, was between two European nations, in reality between two aboriginal factions, who, for aught one knows to the contrary, might have otherwise lived in peace. The Dutch or the English flag was the standard which drew the natives in thousands into opposing camps, and for which they shed their blood freely, only that the white man might obtain freer scope to barter spurious drinks for the precious metal which the torrential rains washed to the very doors of the aborigines.
    • p. 67
  • It is a sad reflection, but a legitimate one, that in the present day the successors of the leaders, who bore the heat and the burden of the day in order that British commerce might gain a footing on these shores, are not remembered as they should be by the British Government. But it is true that they are protected; it is feared very much protected. To be accurate, they are remembered sometimes in the partitioning of their territories, the minimising of their authority, and, worse than all, in some cases, in the sowing of those seeds of discord, calculated to destroy the integrity of a people.
    • p. 68
  • The work of destruction, speaking generally, goes on not in the light of day, but, metaphorically, in the dark hours of night. The mighty Titan does not knock down his victim and deprive him of life outright. Oh no! that would be too crude a way. With the gin bottle in the one hand, and the Bible in the other, he urges moral excellence, which, in his heart of hearts, he knows to be impossible of attainment by the African under the circumstances; and when the latter fails, his benevolent protector makes such failure a cause for dismembering his tribe, alienating his lands, appropriating his goods, and sapping the foundations of his authority and institutions. To apply Tennyson’s simile, the Titan only knows what the Titan wants, or what he means. And all the while the eternal verity remains that the natural line of development for the aborigines is racial and national, and that this is the only way to successful European intercourse and enterprise.
    • p. 69
  • Bushido (Shintoism) offers us the ideal of poverty instead of wealth, humility in place of ostentation, reserve instead of reclame, self-sacrifice in place of selfishness, the care of the interest of the State rather than that of the individual. It inspires ardent courage and the refusal to turn back upon the enemy. It looks death calmly in the face, and prefers it to ignominy of any kind. It preaches submission to authority and the sacrifice of all private interests, whether of self or of family, to the common weal. It requires its disciples to submit to a strict physical and mental discipline, develops a martial spirit, and by lauding the virtues of courage, constancy, fortitude, faithfulness, daring, self-restraint, offers an exalted code of moral principles, not only for the man and the warrior, but for men and women in times both of peace and war.
    • Kwamankra, p. 75

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