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John McCracken discusses the Chilembwe Rising (1915)

In 1915, the Reverend John Chilembwe led an uprising in the British Protectorate of Nyasaland – what is now Malawi – which sent shock waves through Britain’s possessions in south-east Africa. The British Academy has now published the evidence presented at the Inquiry that the British authorities held in the aftermath of ‘the Chilembwe Rising’.

The editor of the volume, Dr John McCracken, explains the importance of these witness statements – not just for helping us understand the events of 1915, but as a unique record of African voices from the early 20th century.


Dr John McCracken
University of Stirling

Dr Martin Brett (interviewer)
General Editor of the British Academy’s Fontes Historiae Africanae (Sources of African History), New Series

Voices from the Chilembwe Rising: Witness Testimonies made to the Nyasaland Rising Commission of Inquiry, 1915, edited by John McCracken, was published in December 2015.

A version of this conversation is published in British Academy Review 27 (February 2016).