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African History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Led Up to the Colonial Scramble for Africa?
Why was Africa so rapidly colonized?
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 Caused the Sharpeville Massacre in South...
The Origin of South Africa's Human Rights Day
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.
Chronological List of African Independence
A Chronological List of Independence Dates for Africa.   Country Independence Date Prior ruling country
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.
Southern African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: south west africa dutch east indies walvis bay gold ivory africa independence
What Are Political Institutions?
What are Political Institutions?
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.
What is Pan-Africanism?
How has Pan-Africanism developed over the last couple of centuries into a socio-political movement?
Who Was Nelson Mandela?
A biography of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
A Gallery of Images of African Slavery and the Slave Trade
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.
Why These South African National Holidays Are...
The significance of South Africa's national holidays.
Adinkra Symbology and its Origins
The Origin and Meaning of Adinkra Symbols.: adinkra symbols traditional cloths africanhistory akan symbols abstract shapes
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?
4 Types of Slavery in Africa
Types of Slavery in Africa - What Kinds of Slavery Existed in Africa?
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
When Did Apartheid Start in South Africa?
Unsure when Apartheid started in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
When and How Did Apartheid Come to an End in...
Unsure when Apartheid ended in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
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.
11 Memorable Quotes by Stephen Bantu Biko
A selection of quotes by Steve Biko
Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa
What happened when the South African government tried to force women to carry passes.
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
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.
Origins of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
Portuguese exploration and trade: 1450-1500.
Egypt
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Egypt. Page 2.
Quotes: Idi Amin Dada
A selection of quotes by Idi Amin Dada, president of Uganda from 25 January 1971 to 13 April 1979.
What Was the Mfecane?
A explanation of the term Mfecane and why the subject is controversial.
What Is the Purpose of the Economic Community...
What is the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS?
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.
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.
What was Ujamaa?
What was Ujamaa and how did Nyerere's social and economic policy affect Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s?
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
A Brief History of the African Commonwealth of...
A list of when various African countries joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
Colors of Ancient Egypt
Color in Ancient Egypt. African History.
Moving Quotes from Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Selection of Quotes by Julius Kambarage Nyerere
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.
Sharpeville Massacre
The events of the day. African History.
Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC)
What was the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC)?
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
TRC Conclusions about the Sharpeville Massacre
From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, Vol 3, Chapter 6.
Gukurahundi
What was the Gukurahundi? African History.
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.
Ubuntu
What does Ubuntu mean? Find the answer to what Ubuntu means in this African History Glossary
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.
Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Plans of Slave Decks, Slave Ship Brookes. Page 12.
Algeria Timeline -- Timeline of Algeria from...
A chronology of key events in Algeria's history
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.
Julius Kambarage Nyerere
A Biography of Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the father of Tanzania.
Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Slave Decks on the Slave Bark Wildfire. Page 13.
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'.
A Brief History of Zambia
A brief introduction to the history of Zambia from the time of early humans to the present day.
Kingdom of Kush
What was the Kingdom of Kush? African History.
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.
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.
A Brief History of Cameroon
A brief introduction to the history of Cameroon from the time of early humans to the present day.
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.
Quotes: Rwandan Genocide
A Selection of Quotes About The Rwandan Genocide.
Inspiring Quotes from Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, lived a fascinating life. Read a selection of his most famous quotes.
Donald Woods -- Death of an Activist
Brief biography of South African newspaper editor and anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods.
A Slave Barracoon
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slave Barracoon. Page 6.
Text of the Freedom Charter
Freedom Charter. African History.
Testing an African Slave For Sickness
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Testing an African Slave For Sickness. Page 10.
Female East African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Female East African Slave. Page 7.
Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Young African Boys Captured for Slave Trade. Page 8.
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...
A Brief History of Tunisia
A brief introduction to the history of Tunisia from the time of early humans to the present day.
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.
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.
East African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: heile selassie federal democratic republic federal democratic republic of ethiopia french somaliland muslim invasion
What You Should Know About the History of Kenya
A brief introduction to the history of Kenya from the time of early humans to the present day.
School Enrollment in Apartheid South Africa
Data on School Enrollment for Blacks and Whites in South Africa in 1982.
Inspection of an African Slave
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Inspection of an African Slave. Page 9.
Where in Africa is Zambia?
A map showing the location of the Republic of Zambia in Africa. Page 5.
Tutankhamun: The Boy Pharaoh
Be amazed at the treasures discovered in the tomb of the most famous Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun. His was the first tomb found still containing treasure.
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.
Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Diagram of the Slave Ship Brookes. Page 11.
A Brief History of Mali
A brief introduction to the history of Mali from the time of early humans to the present day.
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.
Apartheid Era Laws: Prohibition of Mixed...
What was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No 55 of 1949?
Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast. Page 5.
Timeline: The Suez Crisis
Timeline for the Suez Canal Crisis: suez canal zone hassan el banna son farouk caliph of islam king farouk
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
"Wind of Change" speech
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >What was the "Wind
Indigenous African Slavers Traveling From the...
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African slavers Traveling From the Interior. Page 4.
Great Rift Valley
Where is Africa's Great Rift Valley?
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.
A Very Short History of Morocco
A potted history of Morocco. African History.
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
Libya
A brief history of the colonization and independence of Libya. Page 3.
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs:...
A gallery of artifacts from the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Exhibition: Viscera Coffin. Page 4.
African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: African Captives Being Sent Into Slavery. Page 3.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins of Slaves Details of where slaves were taken from Africa and how
Guthrie's Classification of Bantu Languages --...
A map showing Malcolm Guthrie's proposed geographical distribution of Bantu languages in Africa.
A Slaver's Canoe
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Slaver's Canoe. Page 2.
Memorable Quotes by Nelson Mandela
A selection of quotes by Nelson Mandela
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
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.
A Brief History of Mauritius
A brief introduction to the history of Mauritius from the time of early colonization to the present day.
Pre-Colonial Cultures in South Africa: San and...
Two thousand years ago the first of several waves colonists swept into South Africa. In the first of these waves, the pastoralist Khoikhoi moved down into the western and southern coastal regions - pushing the hunter-gatherer San inland.
The Role of Islam 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?
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…
Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu
Biography of Albertina Sisulu. Prominent leader in the African National Congress and 'Mother of the Nation'. Part 1 1918-1958.
Ancient Egypt: The Father Of Time
The way in which we divide the day into hours and minutes, as well as the structure and length of the yearly calendar, owes much to pioneering developments in ancient Egypt. Page 2.
A Brief History of Swaziland
A brief introduction to the history of Swaziland from the time of early humans to the present day.
Ancient Egypt: Predynastic Period
The Predynastic Period of Ancient Egypt saw the development of grouped communities, the worlds first written language, institutionalised religion, and the development of the plough. Archaeologists have divided the Period into four relatively distinct phases to aid their understanding of the social, scientific, and political developments in Egypt at that time.
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?
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.
Early Christianity in North Africa Part 1
Historical Background, Factors Which Influenced the Spread Of Christianity, Christianity Reaches North Africa
Nigeria Timeline -- From Prehistory to...
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history: kanem bornu bantu migration gao mali kingdoms and empires western nigeria
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.
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers --...
South African Apartheid Era Identity Numbers How the Apartheid Era Identity Number Recorded Racial Categories
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.
Indigenous African Slavery
Image of African Slavery and the Slave Trade: Indigenous African Slavery
Explaining the Rapid Decolonization of Africa
The decolonization of Africa was almost as fast as the more famous Scramble to colonize the continent had been, and there were five main causes.
Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century
In February 2002 a list of Africa's Top 100 books was announced. Find out why.
Apartheid FAQ: Who Supported Apartheid?
Unsure who supported Apartheid in South Africa? Find the answer in this Apartheid FAQ.
This Day in African History: 19 March
A chronicle of events in African history on 19 March.
Photo Gallery of African Leaders
Browse through this photo gallery of African Leaders.
This Day in African History: 24 March
A chronicle of events in African history on 24 March.
Africa and the Commonwealth of Nations
18 countries in Africa are currently part of the Commonwealth of Nations (with Zimbabwe having departed in 2003).
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…
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.
Léopold Sédar Senghor
Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906 - 2001), first president of Senegal, internationally acclaimed poet, writer and statesman.
Nok Culture
Considered the oldest recognisable pre-colonial society in sub-Saharan Africa, the Nok Culture is exemplified by its magnificent terracotta sculptures and the development of iron working. Find out more about this ancient African civilization.
Timbuktu: The El Dorado of Africa
Timbuktu is widely used to describe a place extremely far away and regarded by many as a myth. In reality it's a city in Mali, West Africa, of such great historical importance that in 1988 it was designated a World Heritage Site.
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)
What was the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM)?
A Very Short History of Côte d'Ivoire
A potted history of Côte d'Ivoire
Timeline of Apartheid History: 1912 to 1959
A Timeline of Key Apartheid Events from 1912 to 1959.
Road Sign 1956
A fairly common road sign around Johannesburg in 1956: "Caution Beware Of Natives"
This Day in African History: 20 March
A chronicle of events in African history on 20 March.
Côte d'Ivoire Timeline -- Timeline of the...
A chronology of key events in Côte d'Ivoire's history
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.
West African Independence
A chronology of colonization and independence.: french west africa french protectorate grand popo africa independence portuguese guinea
Angola Timeline -- Timeline of Angola from...
A chronology of key events in Angola's history
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
A Brief History of Angola - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Angola from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Kingdoms to Independence
A Brief History of Zimbabwe - Part 2
An introduction to the history of the African nation. This part confronts the effect of nationalistic shifts and the new constitution.
This Day in African History: 23 March
A chronicle of events in African history on 23 March.
Dusé Mohamed Ali
Dusé Mohamed Ali was an influential Pan-Africanist, a supporter of Islam, and traveled widely throughout the African Diaspora. He founded the 'African Times and Orient Review' in 1911, which spread the call for African nationalism, and later founded 'The Comet' in Lagos, Nigeria.
South African Townships
Map of townships around Pretoria, Johannesburg and Vereeniging.
A Brief History of Mozambique - Part 1
A brief introduction to the history of Mozambique from the time of early humans to the present day. Part 1 - Indigenous Peoples to Independence
Short Biography: Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu Influential anti-Apartheid activist and co-founder of the African National Congress
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

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