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Grant number: FT-248386-16

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Myles Gregory Osborne
University of Colorado, Boulder (Boulder, CO 80302-7046)

Pan-Africanism: The Mau Mau Revolt and Its Impact on Rural Society in the Caribbean

Two months of interviews towards a transnational history of the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya and its impact in the Caribbean.

Few social movements have greater significance than Pan-Africanism. With origins in the late 19th century—but peaking in the 1950s—Pan-Africanists sought to mobilize peoples of African descent across the world. Pan-Africanism has, however, been conceived largely as the brainchild and organ of “great men” (consider W.E.B. Du Bois or Marcus Garvey). But what of the bulk of the population in Africa and the Caribbean—what of their aspirations and efforts? My work explores how the rural poor, women, and uneducated of the Caribbean linked themselves to—and participated in—the African diaspora community during the 1950s. Moreover, it brings Africa’s most important anti-colonial war—Mau Mau—into global context, revealing how fighters based in central Kenya’s forests linked their struggle to wider waves of anti-imperialism in the Caribbean. This research rejects the nation state as a useful model, instead drawing transnational connections between peoples across the globe.

Project fields:
African History; History, Other; Latin American History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016