Barack Obama's father tops colonial list of Kenyan students in US
The Guardian: The name of Barack Obama, the father of the American president, is on the top of a list of names revealed in a hitherto secret British colonial file of Kenyans studying in the US.
The file notes that the US state department had told British officials in 1959 that they were concerned Kenyan students in America had a reputation for "falling into the wrong hands".
US officials complained that Kenyan students were becoming "anti-American and anti-white" just at the time Barack Obama Senior was given a grant to study in America.
British colonial administrators in Nairobi expressed concern about the calibre of Kenyans receiving scholarships to go to US universities, claiming they were "academically inferior" to their contemporaries who stayed in Africa to study. They criticised a US-based body, the African American Students Foundation, which gave Obama Senior grants to study business administration at the University of Hawaii, Honululu. Supporters of the project included the singer (and Communist Party member) Harry Belafonte, the actor Sidney Poitier, and the baseball player Jackie Robinson….
A year later, in 1960, Obama Senior met a white American called Ann Dunham on a Russian language course at the university. They married the next year and had a son, elected the first black US president in 2008.
read … The wrong hands
Revealed: The official fears US and Britain shared about over President Obama's 'anti-American' and 'anti-white' father
UK Daily Mail: U.S. and British officials were deeply suspicious of this outfit, observing that the AASF – though backed by singer (ands Communist Party member) Harry Belafonte and actor Sidney Poitier – had links to a Kenyan nationalist leader.
‘The motives behind this enterprise, therefore, seem more political than educational,’ warned a letter from the British Embassy in Washington.
It added: ‘The arrival here of these students, many of them of indifferent academic calibre and ill-prepared for the venture, is likely to give rise to difficult problems.’
read …. Revealed
US concern over Kenyan students
The Times of Malta: British colonial administrators expressed concerns about the calibre of Kenyans receiving scholarships to go to US universities, claiming they were “academically inferior” to their contemporaries who remained in Africa to study.
In particular they criticised a US-based funding body called the African American Students Foundation (AASF), which gave Mr Obama senior several grants while he was at the University of Hawaii….
The papers contain strong criticism of the AASF, which took 81 Kenyans to America in September 1959 to take up University scholarships….
The memo observed that the AASF had links to Kenyan nationalist leader Tom Mboya, and suggested that he favoured members of his Luo tribe − to which Mr Obama senior also belonged − in awarding the scholarships.
It said: “The motives behind this enterprise, therefore, seem more political than educational.
“The arrival here of these students, many of them of indifferent academic calibre and ill-prepared for the venture, is likely to give rise to difficult problems.”
The permanent secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Education said: “The 81 students proposing to go to America are almost entirely of lower grade.
“It is unfortunate that these academically inferior students should obtain opportunities for higher education which may, in the eyes of Africans, appear more attractive than that obtained at Makerere (a University in Uganda) or the RTC (the Royal Technical College in Nairobi).”
read … US concern over Kenyan students
NTD: UK Foreign Office Makes "Lost" Colonial Files Public
Britain's Foreign Office has made public thousands of "lost" colonial era files, and the documents reveal efforts to destroy and reclassify sensitive papers.
The Foreign Office was forced to admit last year, as a result of a high Court case brought by Kenyans involved in the Mau Mau rebellion, that it held some 8,800 files, which were migrated to Britain from colonies at the time of independence because of their sensitivity.
The documents, secretly sent back to the UK when former colonies became independent, shed new light on how British officials ran overseas territories.
They include detailed accounts of the policy of seizing livestock of people suspected of aiding the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya as well as secret plans to deport a Greek Cypriot leader despite starting talks with him to end a violent rebellion in 1955….
Wednesday's releases are the first of six batches, in a process due to be completed by November 2012.
read ... UK Foreign Office Makes "Lost" Colonial Files Public