Home News Paul Danquah: The openly gay first son of JB Danquah of the Big Six

Paul Danquah: The openly gay first son of JB Danquah of the Big Six

by Fila News Gh
Paul Danquah

Born on May 25, 1925, as Joseph Paul Walcott, the first son of one of Ghana’s Big Six, JB Danquah was known as an openly queer person. His mother, Bertha May Walcott, was British.

Living with his life partner, Peter Pollock, in the United Kingdom, the British-Ghanaian pursued his acting career, becoming particularly known for his role in the film, A Taste of Honey, which was adapted from the 1958 play of the same name, written by Shelagh Delaney.

A tweet by @Qyvst, who promotes activities of people of the LGBTQ+, said that “Paul’s life partner was Peter Pollock, a man with the looks of a film star, part-heir to a thriving family steel company. They both lived in London, where Paul enrolled in law school, took on several roles in films, and showed interest in the arts.”

The tweets also indicated that the details shared “heavily relied on author Nana Ama’s account of PD’s life and on books written about Francis Bacon.”

According to details sampled online, Paul Danquah later became a barrister and a bank consultant.

More specifically, he was called to the Bar in Ghana in 1966, having previously been called to the Bar in the UK.

Along the way, Paul Danquah placed his studies on hold to pursue acting and was featured in more films and popular television shows, such as “Danger Man,” and “The Avengers.”

He eventually resumed his studies, during which time he completed his law courses.

In the late 1960s, Paul became the World Bank’s first sub-Saharan African employee and moved with Peter to Washington. While in DC, Paul was again called to the Bar.

“Together, they hosted gatherings for luminaries of the arts and literary world. People like Jimmy Baldwin, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone,” the tweet added.

In 1962, during a visit by Maya Angelou, the American memoirist, popular poet, and civil rights activist, visited Ghana and developed a lifelong friendship with Paul Danquah.

One of their nieces of Paul confirmed that the relationship that existed between the first son of JB Danquah and Maya Angelou was so strong that she was a regular at programs organized by Paul.

Paul had been known for hosting gatherings for luminaries of the arts and literary world, with people like Jimmy Baldwin, Roberta Flack, and Nina Simone attending.

Confirming the lifestyle of Paul Danquah, Francis Bacon, one of the best painters of the twentieth century, told Michael Peppiatt (in his book on Francis) that he shared a flat with two friends at 9 Overstrand Mansions, Battersea from 1955 till 1961. During the time, he said they both visited Tangier in Morocco frequently and finally settled there in the late 1970s.

He affirmed that he spent time with Paul and Peter in Tangier, “The reason lay in the easy camaraderie and tolerant understanding of the other two men, who were bright, fun-loving, and at ease with their homosexuality.

“Both colorful characters. Rich and with vague, unfulfilled artistic yearnings.”

Peter, Paul’s partner, passed in 2001, something Nana Ama Danquah confirmed. This, she added, was after she asked her uncle, Paul, during a phone conversation shortly after the death, how long he they had been together.

“Fifty-six years,” he replied. She was awed by the courage and integrity it must have taken for her uncle to be proudly Black and openly gay during times when both were considered liabilities.

After Peter’s passing, Paul remained in Tangier until he eventually passed away in 2015 at the age of 90.

Nana Ama, again, said that she traveled to Tangier with her mother to plan the funeral, seeing that Paul had requested to be buried near Peter, his life partner.

Paul and his partner, Peter Pollock

Paul with President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo’s mother, Adeline Akufo-Addo

Source: ghanaweb.com

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