Africa Black History books Gal's Guide Podcast Gardening History Politics Rebels

Wangari Maathai

The first episode in our new research theme of African gals! Bonnie starts us off with a nice little tree-planting gal who wanted to create jobs and plant trees but she was cursed by her government and was hit list! Learn about this amazing gal who not only survived her government but was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize!

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Show Notes & Extras

  • This month’s gal pals are: Dr. Leah Leach, Bonnie Fillenwarth, Katie Harris and Edan
  • Flamingos, Kenya


  • Setting the African tone
  • Bonnie’s 1 cool African Gal is Wangari Maathai
  • Upbringing
  • Importance of names
  • Colonizers influence in school, clothing, and more
  • Wives, kids & people

Waangari as a kid

  • Uncle in the war
  • Adults in class
  • Mau Mau Rebellion
  • CORRECTION: The Kennedy Initiative that got Kenyan students to America (including President Barack Obama’s father) was actually called the Mboya’s initiative. For the 1960 program, the Kennedy Foundation helped. More info via The John F. Kenedy Library & Museum.
  • We’re not in Kenya anymore!
  • A coke & racism in Indiana
  • Back home again in Nyrobi
  • Married to a man who ran for office
  • “Don’t write a check your ass can’t catch”
  • Green Belt Movement



  • The local government called for her to be cursed for asking a question.
  • Arrested again at age 52
  • First African woman to win the Noble Peace Prize in 2004
  • Died at the age of 71 in 2011
  • Unbowed, an autobiography by Wangari, now in the Gal’s Guide library collection!


Podcast Cool Thing Squares


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What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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