Introduction: Thy Kingdom Come on Earth
Beginning with 1985, Kingdom Come argues that African clergy led the nation when the government incarcerated, exiled, or killed South Africa's leaders. The introduction suggests that religious activism, largely embodied by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other clergy, emerged from a transnational tradition of political activism among African church leaders in the early twentieth century, well before the global antiapartheid struggle. Raising methodological questions about diasporic histories, this book shows how historians' definition of an archive affects not only archival composition but also who and what is historiographically centered. By centering Africa to show the ways Black Christians collectively named and fought segregationist practices in South Africa, Jim Crow in America, and British colonialism in Southern Rhodesia, it points to the ways believers latched on to Black nationalism to respond to the pervasive grip of white supremacy.