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Africa has a rich, complex history, with widespread ignorance of this heritage.
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Africa history

Africa has a rich, complex history, with widespread ignorance of this heritage.

Find history books on Africa and Zambia by booksellers in this category. Portuguese explorer Prince Henry, known as the Navigator, was the first European to methodically explore Africa and the oceanic route to the Indies. According to this imperial historiography, Africa had no history and therefore the Africans were a people without history. They propagated the image of Africa as a 'dark continent. ... These historians challenged the imperial historiographical hegemony, resulting by the 1950s in a New African Historiography.

Africa has a rich and complex history but there is widespread ignorance of this heritage. A celebrated British historian once said there was only the history of Europeans in Africa.

Most histories seek to understand modern Africa as a troubled outcome of nineteenth-century European colonialism, but that is only a small part of the story. The history of Africa in the nineteenth century unfolds from the perspective of Africans themselves rather than the European powers. It was above all a time of tremendous internal change on the African continent.

Great jihads of Muslim conquest and conversion swept over West Africa. In the interior, warlords competed to control the internal slave trade. In the east, the sultanate of Zanzibar extended its reach via coastal and interior trade routes. In the north, Egypt began to modernize while Algeria was colonized. In the south, a series of forced migrations accelerated, spurred by the progression of white settlement.

Throughout much of the century African societies assimilated and adapted to the changes generated by these diverse forces. In the end, the West's technological advantage prevailed and most of Africa fell under European control and lost its independence. Yet only by taking into account the rich complexity of this tumultuous past can we fully understand modern Africa from the colonial period to independence and the difficulties of today.

World War 2 - following the period of imperial domination by European powers – has shaped the continent. In 1945, four African countries had independence, by 1963 there were at least 30 states. The optimism of the 1960s was replaced with disappointment by the 1990s.

By the 1990s, however, the high hopes of the 1960s had been dashed. Dictatorships by strongmen, corruption, civil wars, genocide, widespread poverty, and the interventions and manipulations of the major world powers had all relegated Africa to the position of the Third World the poorest and least-developed continent on the planet.

A history of decolonisation and independence, allows readers to see just what political independence did and did not signify, and how men and women, peasants and workers, religious and local leaders sought to refashion the way they lived, worked and interacted with each other.