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The Age of GarveyHow a Jamaican Activist Created a Mass Movement and Changed Global Black Politics$
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Adam Ewing

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157795

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157795.001.0001

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Muigwithania (The Reconciler)

Muigwithania (The Reconciler)

(p.212) Chapter Eight Muigwithania (The Reconciler)
The Age of Garvey

Adam Ewing

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the extent to which interwar Kikuyu nationalism was forged in the context of broader African rhythms. In particular, interwar Kikuyu activists joined their brethren throughout the continent in pursuing contacts with Garveyist and other pan-Africanist organizers, absorbing the lessons of African Garveyism, and implementing those lessons in conversation with their particular needs, grievances, and opportunities. After the brief and explosive attempt to organize a pan-African insurgency under the leadership of Harry Thuku in 1921–22, Kikuyu activists pursued a more cautious strategy of fictive unity, consciousness raising, self-help, and separatist institution building that both mirrored the political activism of Garveyism in other parts of the continent and reconstituted it as tribal politics.

Keywords:   Kikuyu nationalism, Kikuyu activists, Kenyan Garveyism, tribal politics, political activism, Garveyist tribalism

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