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African History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Was the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade?
A brief review of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, with particular reference to the triangular trade and recent statistics.
What Led Up to the Colonial Scramble for Africa?
Why was Africa so rapidly colonized?
Which 2 African Countries Were Never Actually...
There are two countries in Africa which are considered to never have been colonized. The truth, however, is much more complex and open to debate.
Apartheid Legislation in South Africa -- The...
South Africa used legislation to implement the segregation of its black population. Here is a descriptive list of the key Apartheid laws enacted by the National Party government.
Why Idi Amin Dada Was Known as the 'Butcher of...
Idi Amin, who became known as the 'Butcher of Uganda' for his brutal, despotic rule whilst president of Uganda in the 1970s, is possibly the most notorious of all Africa's post-independence dictators. Find out more in this biography.
Chronological List of African Independence
A Chronological List of Independence Dates for Africa.   Country Independence Date Prior ruling country
What Are Political Institutions?
What are Political Institutions?
What Caused a Student Uprising in Soweto in 1976?
The historical background to the June, 16 1976 protest by high-school students in Soweto, South Africa, where police fired teargas and live bullets
Southern African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: south west africa dutch east indies walvis bay gold ivory africa independence
What Caused the Sharpeville Massacre in South...
The Origin of South Africa's Human Rights Day
Who Was Nelson Mandela?
A biography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Why These South African National Holidays Are...
The significance of South Africa's national holidays.
What Was the Mfecane?
A explanation of the term Mfecane and why the subject is controversial.
What is Pan-Africanism?
How has Pan-Africanism developed over the last couple of centuries into a socio-political movement?
What Everyone Should Know About African Slavery
Although slavery has been practiced for almost the whole of recorded history, the vast numbers involved in the African slave trade has left a legacy which can not be ignored.
How Did Goods Get Across the Sahara in Medieval...
Between the 11th and 15th centuries West Africa was a major trading region, exporting goods to Europe, Arabia, India, and China across the Sahara Desert.
When Did Apartheid Start in South Africa?
Unsure when Apartheid started in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
What Caused the Mau Mau Rebellion in Kenya?
The Mau Mau were a militant African nationalist movement active in Kenya during the 1950s whose main aim was to remove British rule and European settlers from the country.
When and How Did Apartheid Come to an End in...
Unsure when Apartheid ended in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
How Stephen Bantu Biko Became an Anti-Apartheid...
A short biography of Steve Biko, founder and martyr of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa.
What Is the Purpose of the Economic Community...
What is the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS?
Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
A Gallery of Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
11 Memorable Quotes by Stephen Bantu Biko
A selection of quotes by Steve Biko
The Legacy of Jomo Kenyatta, the First...
First president of Kenya and prominent independence leader. Born into dominant Kikuyu culture, Kenyatta became its most famous interpreter of Kikuyu traditions through his book Facing Mount Kenya. Part 1 of his biography, from his early days to his political awakening.
Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa
What happened when the South African government tried to force women to carry passes.
Gukurahundi
What was the Gukurahundi? African History.
4 Types of Slavery in Africa
Types of Slavery in Africa - What Kinds of Slavery Existed in Africa?
Apartheid FAQ -- Common Questions About South...
What was Apartheid? Find the answer in this FAQ.: apartheid government racial segregation union of south africa geographical boundaries afrikaans word
A Brief History of Ghana - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Ghana from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Early Kingdoms to Independence
What You Should Know About Apartheid
From the Afrikaans' word for 'separation,' Apartheid was a social philosophy which enforced racial and economic segregation on the people of South Africa.
What Role Did Islam Play in African Slavery?
When Africans talk of slavery they inevitably mean the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Is this a true representation of the practice in Africa?
Origins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Portuguese exploration and trade: 1450-1500.
What was Ujamaa?
What was Ujamaa and how did Nyerere's social and economic policy affect Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s?
Ubuntu
What does Ubuntu mean? Find the answer to what Ubuntu means in this African History Glossary
Moving Quotes from Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Selection of Quotes by Julius Kambarage Nyerere
Adinkra Symbology and its Origins
The Origin and Meaning of Adinkra Symbols.: adinkra symbols traditional cloths africanhistory akan symbols abstract shapes
Quotes: Idi Amin Dada
A selection of quotes by Idi Amin Dada, president of Uganda from 25 January 1971 to 13 April 1979.
16 June 1976 Student Uprising in Soweto
On 16 June 1976 high-school students in Soweto, South Africa, protested for better education. Police fired teargas and live bullets into the marching students. Part 2: Students organize a protest.
Egypt
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Egypt. Page 2.
Apartheid Quotes - Bantu Education
Bantu Education, the separate and limited experience encountered by non-whites in South Africa when pursuing an education, was a cornerstone of the apartheid philosophy. The following quotes illustrate the diverse viewpoints about Bantu Education from both sides of the anti-Apartheid struggle.
Inspiring Quotes from Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, lived a fascinating life. Read a selection of his most famous quotes.
A Brief History of Cameroon
A brief introduction to the history of Cameroon from the time of early humans to the present day.
Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire. Page 13.
Biography: Mary Henrietta Kingsley
A biography in three parts of Mary Henrietta Kingsley, a Victorian explorer and writer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and its people. Part 1: Early Life in England
Short Biography: Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu Influential anti-Apartheid activist and co-founder of the African National Congress
Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes. Page 12.
Apartheid Era Laws: Population Registration Act...
The Population Registration Act required South Africans to be identified and registered as belonging to one of four distinct racial groups. Find out more...
Exercising Slaves on a Trans-Atlantic Slave Ship
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Exercising Slaves on a Trans-Atlantic Slave Ship. Page 14.
Colors of Ancient Egypt
Color in Ancient Egypt. African History.
Group Areas Act No 41 of 1950
The Group Areas Act No 41 of 1950 forced physical separation between races by creating different residential areas for different races. Find out more…
Apartheid Signs Image Gallery
A gallery of images of Apartheid Era Signs from the mid 1950s to late 1970s.
Quotes: Rwandan Genocide
A Selection of Quotes About The Rwandan Genocide.
Biography: Chief Albert Luthuli
A biography of Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa's first winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace and president of the ANC until his death (under mysterious circumstances) in 1967.
Text of the Freedom Charter
Freedom Charter. African History.
Timeline of the Algerian War of Independence
A chronology of key events in Algeria's War of Independence -- From French Colonization to the End of the 'Battle of Algiers'.
Exclusive Use of European Mothers 1971
Sign outside a Johannesburg park in 1971 restricts its use: "This lawn is for the exclusive use of European
How Sonni Ali Formed a Great African Empire
West African monarch who ruled Songhai from 1464 to 1492, expanding a small kingdom along the Niger River into one of medieval Africa's greatest empires.
11 Greatest African Explorers
Over the centuries, explorers have found the allure of the unknown reaches of Africa irresistible. Find out who was who, where they went, and when.
Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu
Biography of Albertina Sisulu. Prominent leader in the African National Congress and 'Mother of the Nation'. Part 1 1918-1958.
Testing an African Slave For Sickness
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Testing an African Slave For Sickness. Page 10.
General Act of the Berlin Conference on West...
Full Text of the General Act of the Berlin Conference on West Africa as signed on 26 February 1885
How Slaves Were Traded from Africa to the...
Information on how many slaves were shipped from Africa across the Atlantic to the Americas during the sixteenth century can only be estimated as very few records exist for this period. But from the seventeenth century onwards, increasingly accurate records, such as ship manifests, are available.
Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the father of Tanzania.
Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade. Page 8.
Biography: Mungo Park
Mungo Park, a Scottish surgeon and explorer, was sent out by the 'Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior of Africa' to discover the course of the River Niger. Having achieved a degree of fame from his first trip, carried out alone and on foot, he returned to Africa with a party of 40 Europeans, all of whom lost their lives in the adventure.
Cape Town's Infamous Robben Island
A short history of island that housed the most notorious prison of the South African apartheid regime.
Road Sign 1956
A fairly common road sign around Johannesburg in 1956: "Caution Beware Of Natives"
Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes. Page 11.
Inspection of an African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Inspection of an African Slave. Page 9.
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland lasted for 10 years, part of Britain's approach to independence in Africa. Find out more about the federation and why it ended.
Desmond Mpilo Tutu
South African Anglican cleric, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent anti-Apartheid role, chairman of the TRC in late 1990s. Tutu was a powerful moral force in South Africa, and a central figure in the anti-Apartheid struggle.
The Afrikaans Medium Decree
The decree that Afrikaans had to be used as a language of instruction in schools contributed to the 16 June 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa.
A Slave Barracoon
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slave Barracoon. Page 6.
Memorable Quotes by Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes by Nelson Mandela
Indigenous African Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African Slavery
Timeline: The Suez Crisis
Timeline for the Suez Canal Crisis: suez canal zone hassan el banna son farouk caliph of islam king farouk
Telegraph Office 1955
Signs in English and Afrikaans, in Wellington railway station, South Africa, enforcing the policy of
Female East African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Female East African Slave. Page 7.
São Tomé and the Slave Trade
São Tomé is considered to be a principal port in the export of slaves across the Atlantic, this is, however, only part of the story.
Biography: Thomas Joseph Mboya
Thomas Mboya was a Kenyan trade unionist and statesman. Earmarked as Jomo Kenyatta's successor, Mboya was assassinated six years into independence, sparking tribal unrest between Kenyatta's Kikuyu supporters and Mboya's Luo.
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
What was the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)?
A Brief History of Liberia - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Liberia from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 –Colonization to Civil War
Apartheid FAQ: How Did The Apartheid Government...
Unsure how the Apartheid regime came into power? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
Union Of South Africa
The politicking behind the scenes for the formation of the Union of South Africa allowed the foundations of Apartheid to be laid.
A Brief History of Ghana - Part 2
A brief introduction to the history of Ghana from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 2 - Nkrumah to Rawlings
A Brief History of Zambia
A brief introduction to the history of Zambia from the time of early humans to the present day.
Apartheid FAQ: Who Supported Apartheid?
Unsure who supported Apartheid in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
A Brief History of the African Commonwealth of...
A list of when various African countries joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
History of Apartheid: Crossroads
South African police and rioters in South Africa's Cape Town informal settlement of Crossroads clashed over an attempt to move residents to the new Township of Kayelitsha.
An Atlas of African Independence
By the mid 1960's the majority of African states were free from colonial rule. Read more about each country's story in this Atlas of Independence.
Kenyan Leaders Since Independence
A list of the leaders of Kenya since gaining independence on 12 December 1963.
Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast. Page 5.
The Colonial Names of African States
What was that colony? Modern Africa states listed according to their former colonial names with an explanation of significant border shifts.
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd
National Party Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 until his assassination on 6 September 1966, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd was the chief architect of 'Grand Apartheid', which called for the separation of races in South Africa.
Apartheid Era Laws: Prohibition of Mixed...
What was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No 55 of 1949?
A Brief History of Sudan - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Sudan from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Kingdoms to Independence
Kingdom of Kush
What was the Kingdom of Kush? African History.
This Day in African History: 19 May
A chronicle of events in African history on 19 May
Soweto Uprising 1976 Image Gallery
A gallery of images of the 16 June 1975 Soweto Uprising.
White Area 1976
An apartheid notice on a beach in 1976 near Cape Town, denoting the area for whites only. Page 4.
The Jameson Raid, December 1895
The Jameson Raid was an ineffective attempt to overthrow President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic in December 1895.
Apartheid FAQ: What Were the Foundations of...
Unsure what the Foundations of Apartheid were? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
John Garang de Mabior
Colonel John Garang de Mabior was a Sudanese rebel leader and founder of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) which fought a 22 year civil war against the northern dominated, Islamist Sudanese Government. Was made vice president of Sudan on the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, shortly before his death.
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers --...
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers How the Apartheid Era Identity Number Recorded Racial Categories
This Day in African History: 20 May
A chronicle of events in African history on 20 May
Indigenous African Slavers Traveling From the...
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African slavers Traveling From the Interior. Page 4.
A Very Short History of Côte d'Ivoire
A potted history of Côte d'Ivoire
East African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: heile selassie federal democratic republic federal democratic republic of ethiopia french somaliland muslim invasion
African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery. Page 3.
Apartheid Beach 1979
Sign on a Cape Town beach in 1979 reserves it for white people only: "WHITE PERSONS ONLY This beach and
West African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: french west africa french protectorate grand popo africa independence portuguese guinea
Léopold Sédar Senghor
Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906 - 2001), first president of Senegal, internationally acclaimed poet, writer and statesman.
A Slaver's Canoe
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slaver's Canoe. Page 2.
Algeria Timeline -- Timeline of Algeria from...
A chronology of key events in Algeria's history
A Very Short History of Morocco
A potted history of Morocco. African History.
Tanzania Timeline -- Timeline of the History of...
A chronology of key events in Tanzania's history: vasco da gama john hanning speke lake tanganika lettow vorbeck german protectorate
Libya
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Libya. Page 3.
Biography: Joe Slovo
Joe Slovo, anti-Apartheid activist, was one of the founders of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, and was general secretary of the South African Communist Party during the 1980s.
The Rwandan Genocide -- Part 1
Why was there such strong antagonism between the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda? What Role did European colonization play? Was the 1994 genocide the first outbreak of violence? Find out more about the origins of the Rwandan Genocide.
Issayas Afeworki, Eritrea
Image of President Issayas Afeworki of Eritrea, © IRIN. Page 2.
Where in Africa is Zambia?
A map showing the location of the Republic of Zambia in Africa. Page 5.
A Brief History of Mali
A brief introduction to the history of Mali from the time of early humans to the present day.
How South African Place Names Have Changed
Since the end of apartheid, a number of town and geographical names in South Africa have changed. Here's a list of them.
Salva Kiir Mayardit
First president of the Republic of South Sudan, veteran of the Fist and Second Sudanese Civil Wars, and member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
A Brief History of Botswana
A brief introduction to the history of Botswana from the time of early humans to the present day.
Afrikaner Broederbond
What was the Afrikaner Broederbond?
Quotes: PW Botha
A selection of quotes by PW Botha.
Timeline: Slavery in the Cape Colony
Many South Africans are the descendants of slaves brought to the Cape Colony from 1653 until 1822. Follow the main events in this period of South Africa's history in this timeline.
A Brief History of Mauritius
A brief introduction to the history of Mauritius from the time of early colonization to the present day.
Idi Amin Timeline
A Timeline of Key Events in the Life of Idi Amin Dada.
A Brief History of Equatorial Guinea
A brief introduction to the history of Equatorial Guinea from the time of early humans to the present day.
Segregated Toilets 1979
May 1979: Public conveniences in Cape Town in 1979 allocated to white people only: "Whites Only, Net
PAI - Polizia dell'Africa Italiana
Who were the PAI? African History.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves Details of where slaves were taken from Africa and how
Slave Origins for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Slavery Regions for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Page 5.
A Brief History of Swaziland
A brief introduction to the history of Swaziland from the time of early humans to the present day.
Why was Patrice Lumumba Assassinated?
Patrice Lumumba is one of the most well-known nationalist leaders due to the causes, legacies, and controversies surrounding his assassination in 1961.
Sharpeville Massacre
The events of the day. African History.
Côte d'Ivoire Timeline -- Timeline of the...
A chronology of key events in Côte d'Ivoire's history
Biography: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia's...
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, described by some of her rivals as an Americo-Liberian, the descendant of Liberia's ex-American-slave colonists, has reached the pinnacle o her political career. Awaiting the results of an investigation into alleged (by her main political rival George Weah) election fraud, Johnson-Sirleaf could become Africa's first elected woman president. Find out more…
Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani
A short biography of Chris Hani, South African political activist, chief-of-staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, and Secretary-General of the South African Communist Party, assassinated in April 1993.
Timeline of Apartheid History: 1912 to 1959
A Timeline of Key Apartheid Events from 1912 to 1959.
South African Students' Organisation
From 1969 to 1977, when it was banned, the South African Students' Organisation worked tirelessly for the rights of non-white students in South Africa, and in support of Black Consciousness philosophy helped to create the Black People's Convention. Find out more about SASO…
Civilizing Mission
What was the Civilizing Mission?
A Brief History of Benin
A brief introduction to the history of Benin from the time of early humans to the present day.
A Brief History of Tunisia
A brief introduction to the history of Tunisia from the time of early humans to the present day.
Jomo Kenyatta
First president of Kenya and prominent independence leader. Born into dominant Kikuyu culture, Kenyatta became its most famous interpreter of Kikuyu traditions through his book Facing Mount Kenya. Part 2 of his biography, from his political awakening to the Mau Mau Rebellion.
Zulu War Vocabulary
A list of common Zulu terms relevant to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
Nigeria Timeline -- From Colonization to the...
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history: british protectorate british colonial rule frederick lugard kingdom of benin southern nigeria

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