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Once portrayed as “barbaric”, hopelessly primitive or at best “medieval”, the study of the histories and cultures of Africa has made tremendous strides since the generation following Independence. Over fifty new universities have been established within Africa with active departments of history. These centers of data collection, documentation and field research have produced and supported works that proved the depth and connection of many facets of Africa that were unknown and misunderstood by the outside world.

As a result of over forty years of new research worldwide, thousands of new sources of historical and cultural information now exist, and because of modern technology are closer to the individual seeker than ever before. The following books provide good overviews of current historical thinking:

The U.N.E.S.C.O. General History of Africa One of the best recent histories of Africa.Seven Volumes cover the  continent from Prehistory to 1980 (Heinneman, 1985)

African Civilization Revisited: From Antiquity to Modern Times  by Basil Davidson (Africa Wolrd Press,1991)

The Africans: A Triple Heritage  by Ali Mazrui (Little and Brown, 1986)

Both  Mazrui and Davidson have narrated video series on African History as well.

*    *    *     *     *     *     *  Internet Highlights  *     *     *     *     *     *     *

African Indigenous Knowledge Systems is a fascinating and rich site covering a number of topics about African Traditional religions and their rebirth in the Americas.

African Mathematical Union. Commission on the History of Mathematics in Africa

articles on “The Ancients”, pages on mathematics in Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, profiles of African mathematicians, bibliographies and web sites.   

Islam and A new,wide-ranging and provocative site that challenges Eurocentric scholarship on history and enslavement on a number of levels, containing numerous videos, music and historical media.

ArchNet, African & Near Eastern Archaeology A very good listing African and Diaspora archeological web sites.

Voice of America Africa (VOA) offers 24 hours of radio program on various topics and music related  to Africa.

African History Scholarly Societies links recommended by the excellent Stanford University website


History in Africa


Journal of African History    One of the pioneering contemporary resources for African History


African Newspapers Currently Received by American Libraries

Latitude, the Science of Sailing the World Children’s site on early overseas exploration, maps, examples of ships used. /  

Ancient African Kingdoms of the Nile

Sudanic Africa, Journal of Historical Sources

“The Black Presence in Antiquity: a Selected Bibliography” 

Bibliography, journal articles from Howard U. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.