Custodians of Tea: A History of Tea Producers in Late Colonial and Independent Kenya
History/Critical Race & Ethnic Studies
This grant supports research in London, England and Palo Alto, California for my new book project, “Custodians of Tea: A History of Tea Producers in Late Colonial and Independent Kenya.” The project traces the social history of tea cultivation and exports that brought Kenya, a former British colony, from a marginal to a leading producer in the international tea economy. The purpose of my London trip is to examine colonial records and business documents housed at the British Library, the British National Archives at Kew, and the Guildhall Library. The archives in Palo Alto contribute extensive African holdings and the Tom Mboya papers in particular, which are housed at the Hoover Institute located on the Stanford university campus. The source material from the archives gives an intimate insight into the kinds of interactions and relationships the managerial and colonial staff had with tea estate workers.