This review is written by Eugene Kernes
Genre = History, Empires
Africa is a diverse place that has a long history of political maneuverings, cultural traditions, philosophy, art, science, medicine, and economics. Africa was where the wealth and power was in the ancient world. This intellectual history is usually not recognized because it does not seem very African. Only seems that way after many of the artifacts were stolen or destroyed, leaving no trace of the rich history. Part of the reason is because Africa has a deep oral tradition, which informs decisions and keeps behavior accountable to future generations, but is in question because of the fragility of memory. This book reorients African history to be about Africa, rather than as part of a description of the West. Africa had contact with various cultures. They even had a code of chivalry. Even when considered mystical figures, rulers knew their limits. This is a book of how various individuals from different backgrounds have influenced the world through their work. From the wealth of Egypt to the resistance and activism of the early 21st century.
The book is sometimes difficult to read. Although the author is correcting a bias, the author also has a bias. What the bias indicates is a need to figure out how to talk about Africa without dismissing African achievements and hardships, while seeing how Africa influences and was influenced by the world.