Aggrey, James Emman Kwegyir, 1875-1927

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African American educator, clergyman, and scholar born in Ghana.

From the description of Papers, 1890-1981. (Moorland-Spingarn Resource Center). WorldCat record id: 70941167

A teacher, orator, clergyman, and scholar, Dr. Aggrey devoted his life to the attainment of education for Black people in Africa, particularly his native Ghana, and in the United States. He also directed his energies towards the promotion of racial harmony. The collection documents his activities in the arenas of education and race relations. Of interest is the material on Achimota School in Ghana, which Dr. Aggrey helped establish in 1925, and under whose leadership the institution flourished.


1875 Oct. 18 - Born in Anamabu, Ghana (known at the time as the Gold Coast) to Kodwo Kwegyir and Abna Aggrey.

1883 June 24 - Entered the Wesleyan Methodist School at Cape Coast, Ghana.

1890 - Began teaching career at the age of fifteen in the village Abdura Dunkwa, Ghana. Served as the school's only teacher and administrator.

1891 - Returned to Cape Coast where he was appointed assistant teacher at his alma mater, now named the Wesleyan Centenary Memorial school.

1898 - Appointed headmaster, Wesleyan Centenary Memorial school; Sailed for the United States to attend Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C. Worked in the publishing house of the Zion church of charlotte, N.C. Contributed articles to the Charlotte Daily Observer.

1902 - Graduated, B.A. with honors, Livingstone College. served as college registrar and professor.

1903 - Assumed position of elder in the Zion Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C. Pastored in the Black churches in the community.

1904-1919 - Began studies (summer program) at Summer; Columbia University, N.Y.

1905 - Married Rose Douglass. To this union were born four children: Abna, Kwegyir, Rosebud and 0. Rudolph.

1912 - Received A.M. degree from Livingstone College and D.D. degree from Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, N.C. served as instructor at both institutions.

1920-1921 - Received Teachers Life Professional Certificate, the highest education diploma granted in the state of North Carolina. Interrupted studies at Columbia to travel to Africa as a member of the Phelps-Stokes commission. Traveled to western and southern Africa to research the state of education.

1921 - Re-entered Columbia University.

1922 - Received M.A. degree from Columbia University. Pursued further studies.

1923 - Passed all examinations leading to a Ph.D. degree, leaving only the dissertation to complete. (He died before he could complete the program).

1924 - Joined the second Phelps-Stokes Commission. Participated in an educational survey of eastern and southern Africa.

1925-1927 - Served as Assistant Vice Principal of Achimota School in Ghana, an educational institution he was instrumental in establishing in 1925.

1927 May - Took a leave of absence from Achimota School to return to the United States to complete his dissertation.

July 30 - Died in New York.

Source: Smith, Edwin W., Aggrey of Africa. New York: Richard Smith, Inc., 1930.

From the guide to the J.E. Kwegyir Aggrey Papers, ca. 1890s-1981, (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf J.E. Kwegyir Aggrey Papers, ca. 1890s-1981 Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
referencedIn Phelps-Stokes Fund records, 1893-1970 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
creatorOf Aggrey, James Emman Kwegyir, 1875-1927. Papers, 1890-1981. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
creatorOf Bruce, John Edward, 1856-1924. John Edward Bruce papers: additions, 1888-1918. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Phelps-Stokes Fund. Phelps-Stokes Fund records, 1893-1970. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aggrey, Rose Douglass. person
associatedWith Bruce, John Edward, 1856-1924. person
associatedWith Phelps-Stokes Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Prince of Wales College and School (Achimota, Ghana) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
African Americans
African American clergy
African American teachers


Birth 1875-10-18

Death 1927-07-30



Ark ID: w6sn0z03

SNAC ID: 43752570