An Activist in Exile

Janet Mondlane and the Mozambican liberation movement

Authored by: Joanna Tague

The Routledge History of World Peace Since 1750

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138069138
eBook ISBN: 9781315157344
Adobe ISBN:


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On February 3, 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan delivered his now-famous “wind of change” address to the South African Parliament. At the time, British colonial officials had already dubbed 1960 the “year of Africa,” when seventeen African nations would achieve independence. Framed by Macmillan as a wind, historians have similarly cast decolonization as a force of nature—a wave, storm, or deluge. 1 The problem with these metaphors, however, is that they universalize the decolonization process, glossing over the enormous variations in African liberation struggles. Britain and France both fought lengthy guerrilla insurgencies (in Kenya and Algeria, respectively), which subsequently prompted them to negotiate with African leaders in their other colonies so as to avoid additional anticolonial warfare. For many British and French colonies, the year of Africa consisted of a peaceful transition to independence.

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