As the world shakes under the weight of the Black Lives Matter movement, many are turning to black history to understand the roots of the ingrained racism plaguing modern society.
Britain has a dark, racist history buried beneath the sanitized stories of empire perpetuated through the historical narrative and further via the curriculum presented to its school children.
One such history is that of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya – a violent and controversial part of both Kenyan and British history. In reaction to the violence of the rebellion, the British colonial government created a system of detention camps which saw the incarceration of some 80,000 Kikuyu people in Kenya. Within the camp system detainees were aggressively interrogated, thousands were subjected to horrific abuse and several inmates lost their lives. Many Kikuyu still face the repercussions of the uprising to this very day.
Encapsulated within the history of the Mau Mau rebellion is the story of Dedan Kimathi, the self-titled field marshal of the anti-colonial forest fighters. He was executed by the British after a short career of anti-British ‘terrorism’. Continue reading “Dedan Kimathi: 63 years of injustice”