Original caption states: "Nobel Laureate ...

Wangari Maathai, the first Central Kenyan woman to ever get a doctorate, author of Unbowed, asked to be remembered as a person who was very concerned about the environment.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – Prof Wangari Muta Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate who died of cancer on Sunday night would want to be remembered as an environmental icon.

I will be reading more about the life, and death of Dr. Wangairi Maathai in the next few days, considering she is one of a very rare breed of women who actually was willing to suffer for her beliefs, rather than to market herself, or sell out to the military industrial complex.

In her book, Unbowed--available on Amazon.com for Kindle–she remembers her life as a child sharecropper–a child worker within a family of male AND female workers, who existed in  unfair economic disparity within the kyriarchical pyramid. Unlike western feminists, and their causes, she knew that resources are limited, and that to each his or her own is a mantra of the past.

But she also recalled her place in the human family, and the human tribe as one that requires evolution from ideas about divisive conquests for power and the oppression of others, to ideas of a world safe for every person in it.

She spoke truth to power, for which she was beaten, abused, and whipped like a slave, or a man–because she spoke out against the horrors of environmental degradation, patriarchal violence, and western feminism’s ever present matriarchal hunger, which demands more, and ever more of the resources of others.

She refused to “know her place,” or adopt the diffusive, self and body centered politics and the inherently flawed paradigm of western white feminism. She was always just to busy to waste time in American white feminist paradigms to engage herself with  “for-me-and-mineism,” speaking instead to everyone, and everything living thing about environmental issues that affect us all.

But I should just shut up, before I appear too much like a western feminist–overlaying every issue with divisive constructs of power, and selfish, sexualizing dialogue; and just honor her in the way she asked  be remembered.

This way, from Al Jazeera and Capitalfm, Kenya:

The Tree Mother of Africa and the founder of the Green Belt Movement, asks us to-

” record her as a person who was very concerned about the environment, “very concerned about what we do with the species we cohabit this planet with and one person who really felt that the humans ought to have a greater respect for other species than we do at the moment because in respecting other species, in respecting members of the human species we are more likely to survive on this planet earth.”

The Kenyan environmentalist, womanist, first centralKenyan fermale doctorate, and daughter of hard working sharecroppers died on Sunday night while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital where she had been admitted for a couple of weeks.

Her Personal Assistant Lucy Wanjohi said Maathai succumbed to ovarian cancer, for which she was being treated. She was diagnosed with the cancer last year.

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