Structural Violence Faced by Independent Kenya’s 1st President & Current Efforts for Retrospective Justice

Dear F/friends,

October 20, is accepted as the birthday of trailblazing Pan-Africanist and political leader Jomo Kenyatta (1897). After Kenya achieved independence on 21 December 1963, Kenyatta was sworn in the following year as the country’s first indigenous president. What kind of nation did he inherit to lead? This narrative seeks to (1) expose how both the direct and structural violence of British settler colonialism affects Kenyans today and (2) examine recent legal efforts pursuing retrospective justice for these historical crimes of direct and systemic violence, including the atrocities of the British campaign against the Mau Mau. Kenyatta’s birthday is a fitting moment for Friends and friends of Friends to consider how past colonial injustices affect Kenyans of all religions and ethnicities today, with Quakers among them.
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–Kate Hood Seel