(Book Review) Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall’s African Journey by Mary L. Dudziak

Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 31, pp. 1146-1155, 2009

Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-009

11 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2010 Last revised: 9 Feb 2010

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This review of Mary Dudziak’s hugely important book contends that the author conflates the struggle for civil rights in the United States with the struggle for black majority rule in Kenya. While the two struggles are linked by white domination and the quest for blacks to free themselves from that domination, the book fails to interrogate and contextualize the limitations of equal protection norms for minorities in two vastly different political milieus. Dudziak does not problematize Thurgood Marshall’s blind insistence that the independence Kenyan constitution accord the economically dominant and oppressive white minority in colonial Kenya the same equal protections that he sought for marginalized blacks in the United States. While the latter would enhance the likelihood of racial equality in the United States, the former would freeze white privilege in Kenya and doom any real chance at social transformation.

Keywords: Colonialism, struggle for independence, nationalism, law and development, civil rights, racism, radicalism, communism

Suggested Citation

Mutua, Makau, (Book Review) Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall’s African Journey by Mary L. Dudziak (2009). Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 31, pp. 1146-1155, 2009, Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1533449

Makau Mutua (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

626 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716 645-2311 (Phone)

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