Wangari Muta Maathai is one of Africa’s most celebrated female activists. Originally trained as a scientist in Kenya and abroad, Professor Maathai returned to her home country of Kenya with a renewed political consciousness. There, she began her long career as an activist, campaigning for environmental and social justice while speaking out against government corruption. In 2004, Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership of the Green Belt Movement, a conservation effort that resulted in the restoration of African forests decimated during the colonial era.
In this biography, Tabitha Kanogo follows Wangari Maathai from her modest, rural Kenyan upbringing to her rise as a national figure campaigning for environmental and ecological conservation, sustainable development, democracy, human rights, gender equality, and the eradication of poverty until her death in 2011.
Tabitha Kanogo is professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900–50 and Squatters and the Roots of Mau Mau, both available from Ohio University Press. More info →
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In this concise biography, Scully shows us how the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner and two-time Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaks to many of the key themes of the twenty-first century. Among these are the growing power of women in the arenas of international politics and human rights; the ravaging civil wars of the post–Cold War era in which sexual violence is used as a weapon; and the challenges of transitional justice in building postconflict societies.
A penetrating, accessible portrait of the activist whose execution galvanized the world. Hanged by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa became a martyr for the Ogoni people and for human rights activists, as well as a symbol of modern Africans’ struggle against military dictatorship, corporate power, and environmental exploitation.
Amílcar Cabral’s charismatic and visionary leadership, his pan-Africanist solidarity and internationalist commitment to “every just cause in the world,” remain relevant to contemporary struggles for emancipation and self-determination. This concise biography is an ideal introduction to his life and legacy.
In an excellent addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Robert Trent Vinson recovers the forgotten story of Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner, who linked South African antiapartheid politics with international human rights campaigns and was a leading advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience techniques.
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