Africa History

pre-colonial Africa

BBC: The Story of Africa
This BBC site features Africa’s top historians and analyzes the events and characters that have shaped the continent from the origins of humankind to the end of South African apartheid. Among the topics covered are the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms, the power of religion, the injustices of slavery, and the expansion of trade between Africa and other continents. Features audio segments.

Wonders of the African World
In this PBS production Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. challenges the widespread Western view of Africa as the primitive “dark continent” civilized by white colonists. The series covers Black Pharaohs, Meroe, Gedi, the Swahili People, Zanzibar, the Ashanti and Dahomey (Benin) Kingdoms, Aksum, Gondar, the Churches of Lalibela, the Dogon, Grand Mosque of Djenne, Empires of Mali & Ghana, the Tuareg, Great Zimbabwe, a 1,000 year old South African city – Mapangubwe, the Shona People, and more. Includes a kids’ activity page, teachers’ lesson plans, and audio clips.

Internet African History Sourcebook
Part of Paul Halsall’s excellent series of Internet Sourcebooks, Internet African History Sourcebook has full-text sources for African history arranged by topics that include the Black Athena Debate, human origins, Egypt, Ethiopia, Islam in Africa, West African kingdoms, Great Religion, the slave trade, and more.

African Voices
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, provides a thematic exploration of Africa. The themes revolve around issues of wealth, working, and living conditions in Africa. The history-oriented sections focus on the slave trade, colonialism, and other subjects. The Learning Center offers a helpful list of African resources.

Mr Dowling’s Electronic Passport: Ancient Africa

Mr. Dowling’s Electronic Passport helps kids browse the world in his virtual classroom. He introduces you to many civilizations with clear explanations, engaging graphics for kids, and “cool links”. His study guides, homework assignments and exams are free and available for you to print or to edit.

South of the Sahara
Africa South of the Sahara is maintained by the history department at Stanford University and contains an annotated directory of resources on the history of Sub-Saharan Africa. One can search by topics, countries, or just view the Africa Guide.

Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides, Activities and more
The Road to Timbuktu
Explore the geography of Africa and research the history of West African kingdoms like Timbuktu. PBS Classroom.

Holy Land
Identify the achievements and rich heritage of Ethiopians – particularly their religious heritage – and compare these to modern-day public misconceptions about Ethiopian life. PBS Classroom.

Mr. Donn’s Ancient History Page: Africa
Don Donn of the Corkran (Maryland) Middle School provides a complete unit with 17 daily lesson plans and unit test for sixth graders. There are also links to multiple K12 lesson plans and activities.

Slave Kingdoms
Ghana was the first European sub-Saharan slave port, and some scholars say that the African trade routes could not have started without the support of Ghana’s ruling class. One of America’s leading scholars on African American culture and history retraces his family roots to Ghana and explores the psychological impact of the slave trade on his identity as an African American. Create a newspaper about Ghana’s history, culture, and role in the slave trade.

Lost Cities of the South
Complete a South African Web scavenger hunt and create class presentations about South Africa and Zimbabwe.

African Arts and Music
Create original art, make African crafts, listen to selections of African music, and explore numerous Web sites that depict images of many different kinds of art forms native to Africa. PBS. Grades 3-5.

Fight for Freedom
Research slavery around the world today and find out more about institutions working to end slavery. Grades 4 -8.

Assessing Africa: Examining Issues in Africa and Responses By Local Countries and the International Community
In this New York Times lesson, students research important issues in Africa and how the concerns are being addressed both nationally and internationally. They then prepare briefing presentations for the American President to influence concerns of foreign policy.(July 9, 2003)

Brief Review in Global History and Geography: Document Based Essays and Practice Tests

PH@School’s Brief Review in Global History and Geography Web site provides multiple-choice questions from actual Regents exams. You can also practice your test-taking skills on document-based essay questions (DBQs), with the option of e-mailing answers directly to your teacher for review.