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By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

This Very brief creation appears at Africa's earlier and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates very important features of Africa's historical past with a number of attention-grabbing old examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this colossal continent. The multitude of issues that the reader will know about during this succinct paintings comprise the harmony and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of background in knowing modern Africa. The ebook examines questions akin to: Who invented the belief of "Africa"? How is African historical past pieced jointly, given the sort of loss of documentary facts? How did Africa engage with the realm 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been often called 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable heritage stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the thought of learning African heritage is itself new, and the authors convey why it truly is nonetheless contested and arguable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its sort, will end up crucial interpreting for someone drawn 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 greatly. Terence Ranger, The Bulletin of the college of Oriental and African stories you are going to end this e-book higher knowledgeable, with a greater figuring out of Africa and a clearer thought of the questions. Robert Giddings, Tribune This small ebook is a brilliant and stimulating essay exploring problems with historical past, assets and techniques, Africa on the planet, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the previous within the current as a way of introducing scholars and others to educational puzzling over African heritage. Tom Spear, magazine of African heritage

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Additional resources for African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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He also describes himself as a (nonpractising) Muslim. And he is, of course, a footballer. Whichever of these labels Zidane himself chooses to use would depend both on where he is and how he’s thinking at the time. Identity, in other words, is as fluid as it is multifaceted. 38 But that is the easy part. Identities, even family identities, are often not as straightforward as they seem. Along with the rest of humanity, Africans are biologically members of immediate families and of wider networks of kin.

The key word here is ‘projects’: that is, these were conscious attempts – in our examples, by a militarized 42 aristocracy and a Christianized elite – to revamp and to expand ideas of belonging. Both, of course, were more complex than described here. Within the evolving realms of Zulu-ness and of Yoruba-ness, as well as beyond them, there was much debate over the exact content and the meanings of these labels. They were further complicated, moreover, by both putative ‘nations’ being subsumed into broader political identities following colonial conquest.

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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