Great African Reads discussion

Africa: A Biography of the Continent
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BigRead2014-Africa: A Biography > Recommended Further Reading

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message 1: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new) - added it

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Some members have been sharing other books they are reading alongside this one, or that they think would be helpful to read in addition to this one, so i thought i would open a thread for extra reading discussions. I'll come back to add those books already suggested in the discussion threads, but do add yours here as you think of them! (or read them!)


Hana Definitely read Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora for its insights, not just into the slave trade that per-dated the Atlantic slave trade to the Americas, but also for insights into over thirteen centuries of Mediterranean and Islamic cultural and economic interaction that are barely mentioned in Africa: A Biography of the Continent.

Islam's Black Slaves The Other Black Diaspora by Ronald Segal by Ronald Segal


message 3: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new) - added it

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Hana wrote: "Definitely read Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora for its insights, not just into the slave trade that per-dated the Atlantic slave trade to the Americas, but also for in..."

Thanks Hana! i didn't manage to get back to this thread yesterday but it's better that you listed the book since you can explain why you think it's a good supplementary read. :)


Hana Africa: A Biography of the Continent leaps from Africa's early civilizations in Axum, the inner Niger delta and Zimbabwe to contact with Europeans and the start of West Atlantic slave trade in the 15th century, giving only a short chapter to trading and contact with the Arab world.

Given that Islamic empires dominated regional trade and culture in much of Africa for nearly 800 years that's quite a gap. Fortunately, Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora--a fairly short and readable history--fits nicely as a bridge across a critical time in African history that John Reader barely touches.

For those who don't want to read a whole book, this terrific web site from New York's Public Library provides a good overview, maps, and excellent images: http://exhibitions.nypl.org/africansi...


Hana My other issue with Africa: A Biography is the absence of information on North Africa in Greek and Roman times.

I've just started to check references, but A Traveller's History of North Africa looks promising.


Hana This is an interesting documentary on Roman North Africa--I've only watched the first 15 minutes so far, but it looks good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilWq3C...


message 7: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 449 comments This is fiction, but is one of the few historical fiction books that cover Africa in Medieval times. The Sculptors of Mapungubwe


Hana The Sculptors of Mapungubwe looks fascinating.


message 9: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new) - added it

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Zakes Mda is an amazing writer.


message 10: by Carolien (last edited Oct 28, 2014 08:50PM) (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) | 449 comments I met him recently at a book fair in Joburg and he was such an interesting speaker. His father was a very influential member of the ANC and founding member of the PAC. The SA Reads group is reading one of his early books Ways of Dying in November.


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