H. C. Bankole-Bright and Politics in Colonial Sierra Leone, 1919-1958
This substantial and thoroughly documented book is a political biography of an important figure in Sierra Leone. It is also a comment on two of the major themes of the country's history - the relations between the Colony (Krio society) and the Protectorate (the earlier inhabitants of the territory) and, more importantly, the position of the imperial regime vis-á-vis its colonial subjects. The author, a Sierra Leonean and a Krio himself, skilfully examines the country's recent history through the life of Dr H. C. Bankole-Bright, an important leader of the Krio people. The Krio, descendants of the freed slaves, were the elite of Sierra Leone for more than a century, but ultimately they failed to master mass electorial politics during the period of decolonization leading to independence. Dr Bankole-Bright's failure is seen as emblematic of the disappointed hopes of the Krio as a political group in Sierra Leone. An underlying theme of the book is the misrepresentation of the Krio people in Sierra Leone historiography.