Hearing voices from the Chilembwe Rising of 1915

16 Dec 2015

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

In an interview recorded at the Academy, 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. 

Voices from the Chilembwe Rising: Witness Testimonies made to the Nyasaland Rising Commission of Inquiry, 1915, edited by John McCracken, is published in the British Academy’s Fontes Historiae Africanae (Sources of African History), New Series. In the interview, Dr McCracken is speaking to Dr Michael Brett, the General Editor of the series.

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