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Hearing voices from the Chilembwe Rising

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’. The editor of the volume, Dr John McCracken, here 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.

• John McCracken

The whole article can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Published in British Academy Review, Issue 27 (February 2016).

(This article is an edited version of remarks made by Dr John McCracken in conversation with Dr Michael Brett. Listen to a longer version of the conversation.)