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Visions of the African Press in Colonial Kenya: What the Nationalists Imagined
Unformatted Document Text:  13 Uniting across ethnic groups. In order to achieve the sort of mass mobilization and support that would be necessary to challenge the colonial government, the leaders of various ethnic groups realized that they needed to create a sense of community beyond their own group. Kenyatta, for instance, used Muigwithania to describe the pan-Kenyan aspect of Kikuyu Central Association activities, describing when possible what other ethnic groups were doing in different parts of the country. 36 He also used the paper to speak out for other ethnic groups with grievances against the colonial government and to raise money for projects such as the Kenya Teachers’ Training School that would benefit many ethnic groups. Writing in Sauti ya Mwafrika ("The African Voice"), political activist Eliud Mathu warned against political domination by one race, writing that "[w]e must fight them [colonial government] in a united front. And it is for these big things that you and I are called to together to strengthen this united battlefield." 37 In the pages of Tangazo, Thuku wrote of traveling with members of different ethnic groups and religions, noting that "we traveled as brothers." 38 Cooperation covered more than just publication content. Odinga and other Luo involved with the thrift company published the newspapers of various other ethnic groups who otherwise would not have been able to raise the resources to buy their own presses. Though the papers concentrated almost entirely on local news, they also began slowly laying the groundwork for pan-African ideas by including news items about other African countries. Their sense of racial connections extended beyond the continent, too, when they ran articles about racial discrimination in Europe and the United States. Some newspapers subscribed to the Associated Negro Press to supplement their international news. 36 Kenyatta. Arnold. 37 Roelker 80-81. 38 Thuku 30.

Authors: Wall, Melissa.
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13
Uniting across ethnic groups. In order to achieve the sort of mass mobilization
and support that would be necessary to challenge the colonial government, the leaders of
various ethnic groups realized that they needed to create a sense of community beyond
their own group. Kenyatta, for instance, used Muigwithania to describe the pan-Kenyan
aspect of Kikuyu Central Association activities, describing when possible what other
ethnic groups were doing in different parts of the country.
36
He also used the paper to
speak out for other ethnic groups with grievances against the colonial government and to
raise money for projects such as the Kenya Teachers’ Training School that would benefit
many ethnic groups. Writing in Sauti ya Mwafrika ("The African Voice"), political
activist Eliud Mathu warned against political domination by one race, writing that "[w]e
must fight them [colonial government] in a united front. And it is for these big things
that you and I are called to together to strengthen this united battlefield."
37
In the pages
of Tangazo, Thuku wrote of traveling with members of different ethnic groups and
religions, noting that "we traveled as brothers."
38
Cooperation covered more than just
publication content. Odinga and other Luo involved with the thrift company published
the newspapers of various other ethnic groups who otherwise would not have been able to
raise the resources to buy their own presses.
Though the papers concentrated almost entirely on local news, they also began
slowly laying the groundwork for pan-African ideas by including news items about other
African countries. Their sense of racial connections extended beyond the continent, too,
when they ran articles about racial discrimination in Europe and the United States. Some
newspapers subscribed to the Associated Negro Press to supplement their international
news.
36
Kenyatta. Arnold.
37
Roelker 80-81.
38
Thuku 30.


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