Book: Land, Food, Freedom
Brownhill s careful analysis provides a thrilling account that
both transforms Kenyan historiography and constitutes a great leap
forward in building a truly global history of feminist struggle.
In 1922 Muthoni Nyanjiru used the curse of nakedness to damn Europeans
who enslaved African girls to pick coffee. In the 1950s thousands of
Kenyan women never surrendered in the Mau Mau war to expel the British.
In 1992 old women on hunger strike threw off their clothes to protest
dictatorship. In using oral histories to tell the stories of Kenyan
women in fifteen uprisings across the long 20th century, Land, Food,
Freedom reveals Kenyan women's determination to get back their stolen
land. Local men who collaborated with British colonial officials and
settlers found themselves repeatedly challenged by the organizations and
actions of these women. In acting against their dispossession, they
inspired a different set of men to stand with them in alliance to defend
the gendered commons.
Finally, a genealogy of African women s
pioneering feminism that inspires tremendous hope and optimism. This
book details concrete solutions to current problems and foreshadows the
emergence of the new world of the future. Brownhill proves the old
adage, always something new out of Africa.
Terisa E. Turner,
Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph, Ontario,
Kaara, Global Social Justice Activist, Executive Chair, Kenya Debt
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About the Author
Leigh Brownhill is a co-founder of First Woman: The East and Southern
African Women's Oral History and Indigenous Knowledge Network which has
been recording the life stories of elderly Mau Mau women in Kenya since
1994. She has published widely on the subjects of gendered struggles,
ecology, resources and social movements in Africa. She holds a PhD from
the Department of Adult Education and Counseling Psychology, Ontario
Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.