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, Canada