Campbell Law in Ghana: Inaugural study abroad program begins with visits to Du Bois Center, art market

Group of Campbell Law students, professors and administration pose for photo on first day in Ghana

ACCRA, GHANA — Campbell Law arrived in Accra, Ghana — 16 students, three professors, Dean J. Rich Leonard and Assistant Dean  of Administration Zeke Bridges along with myself on Monday, May 20, 2019.

Through New York, through Brussels, through Nairobi and Lagos, 22 members of the Campbell Law community have come to Ghana to seek and provide knowledge. In only a day and a half, before classes have even begun, we’ve all learned a great deal.

On our first full day in Accra, we visited the W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois Center, which originally served as Du Bois’s home in Ghana when he left the United States at the age of 93. Prior to arriving, Professor Shawn Fields enlightened the group with a summation of the life of Du Bois — from memory, and on the spot. Lexus Sanders and Bria Colon, students at Campbell Law, provided more fascinating information on Du Bois, drawing from experiences during their undergraduate studies reading about the American civil rights figure.

We all learned of Du Bois’s remarkable mind, his ability to crystallize complex racial and sociological issues, and we empathized with his frustration at the pace of progress on racial issues in the United States — the very issue that drove him to embrace Ghana as his home in the twilight of his life.

Du Bois was an avowed Pan-Africanist — Pan-Africanism being the idea that the political and socio-economic well-being of all African peoples and the diaspora is best served through the unification of the continent — which led us to study Kwame Nkrumah. Dr. Nkrumah was the first prime minister and president of Ghana. Through visiting his mausoleum — a memorial to Nkrumah’s life and service to the people of all of Africa and his presence in world politics — we learned about an incredible statesman and visionary. We reflected on his role in shaping and founding a nation. Ultimately, we all came away seeing the United States more for what it is — a wonderful piece in a global puzzle that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Photo of Campbell Law students looking at photos on a museum wall in Ghana

For our last stop on our first full day in Ghana, the group journeyed to Accra’s art market. A place — two stones’ throws away from the Gulf of Guinea — where behavioral economics and culture blur into what can be described as a cacophonous, whirlwind of commerce. We were greeted as friends, seemingly pulled to various stalls containing handmade pieces of woodworking, masks, textiles, bags and both newly conceived and traditional instruments. We all left many Cedis shorter (Ghana’s currency), but richer for having made the transactions and full of indescribable human experience.

Photo of a man making drums in Accra.

For more photos of the law school’s inaugural study abroad experience in Ghana, visit  Campbell Law’s Facebook page.