African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by John Parker, Richard Rathbone

By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

This Very brief advent seems at Africa's prior and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates vital elements of Africa's heritage with various interesting historic examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this colossal continent. The multitude of issues that the reader will find out about during this succinct paintings comprise the solidarity and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of historical past in realizing modern Africa. The e-book examines questions corresponding to: Who invented the assumption of "Africa"? How is African historical past pieced jointly, given this sort of loss of documentary facts? How did Africa have interaction with the realm 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been referred to as 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable historical past stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the suggestion of learning African background is itself new, and the authors exhibit why it really is nonetheless contested and debatable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its sort, will end up crucial interpreting for an individual attracted to the African continent and the range of human history.


A rather well educated and sharply said historiography... might be in each historiography student's kitbag. A journey de force... it made me imagine very much. Terence Ranger, The Bulletin of the varsity of Oriental and African reports you are going to end this publication greater proficient, with a greater realizing of Africa and a clearer thought of the questions. Robert Giddings, Tribune This small e-book is a brilliant and stimulating essay exploring problems with historical past, resources and strategies, Africa on the planet, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the earlier within the current as a method of introducing scholars and others to educational wondering African historical past. Tom Spear, magazine of African historical past

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They were further complicated, moreover, by both putative ‘nations’ being subsumed into broader political identities following colonial conquest. Individually and collectively, new boundaries needed to be worked out: between being Zulu and South African, Yoruba and Nigerian, and between being South African or Nigerian and ‘African’. This working out continued down the generations and, for many, continues today. As we write, a popular documentary programme has just ended its second series on BBC television.

Independent African or EuroAfrican merchants, signares exploited marital and commercial links with Europeans to accumulate wealth and influence on the island entrepôts of Gorée and Saint-Louis in the era of the slave trade combination of dried fruits, olives, spices, and meat, for example, in the Moroccan tagine. The scattered populations of Africans living such precarious handto-mouth lives using low levels of technology are not, as the romantics would have us believe, timeless ‘stone age survivals’.

To repeat: historical Africans were the people who lived in Africa from the mouth of the Nile to the Cape of Good Hope, as well as on its outlying islands in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Recent historical study has also re-embraced their descendants, who through enslavement or voluntary migration have created communities beyond the shores of Africa, in the Americas and elsewhere (see Chapter 4). And finally, it must be remembered that Africans are men and women. Historical lives and experiences were profoundly shaped by this most fundamental of distinctions – a fact often overlooked by lazy generalizations about the past everywhere in the world.

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