Why do we study history? As we all know, the study of history is to learn from your past. We want to know about the things that our ancestors dealt with and more about them. By learning more I read chapter one called “Africa” from our History textbook. Throughout this chapter I was taught many different things. Some main points that I will touch base with throughout this paper are the geographical characteristics of Africa, how and where humans originated, the significance for West Africa, and many more topics.
Let’s start with the geographical part of Africa. Moses stated, that Africa is the second largest continent in the world; Asia is the largest. The north to south part of Africa is divided into a succession of climatic zones. The only thing that isn’t in the climatic zone is the Mediterranean coast and Nile River Valley; most of the northern third of the continent consists of the Sahara Desert.
South of the Sahara Desert is a semidesert region known as “Sahel” while the South of the Sahel is a big grassland coming from Ethiopia west to the Atlantic Ocean. As stated in the book, “Bilad es Sudan” was a savanna named by Arab adventures that meant “the land of black people”. Most of the habitable part of West Africa falls within the savanna while the other half falls within the northern part of a rainforest. The rainforest extends east from the Atlantic coast to the central area of it.
As we move on throughout the chapter, we learn about the birthplace of Humanity. The study of the evolution and prehistory of humans are conducted by Paleoanthropologist. As Moses stated in his presentation, “The origins of humanity lie in the savanna regions of Africa”. The multiregional model- modern humans evolved throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The Africa model- modern humans emerged in Africa 200,000 years ago and began migrating to the rest of the world. Some people today believe that we are descendants of beings who lived in Africa millions of years ago. The fossil and genetic evidence suggests that both (gorillas and chimpanzees) normally known as humans and forest-dwelling apes have a common ancestor who lived in Africa about ten million years ago. The “Eve” hypothesis, supports the out-of-Africa model suggest that all modern humans are descended from a single African woman.
To touch base on the Ancient civilization and Old arguments, the book states, “the earliest civilization in Africa and one of the two earliest civilizations in world history is that of ancient Egypt”. As I talk about Egypt civilization, it was a statue names queen Hatshepsut, who lived from 1508 to 1458 BCE and rules for 22 years. Queen Hatshepsut was noted for encouraging trade.
During an old argument there was a main incident that arose in the nineteenth century explaining how African Americans and white liberals sought to prove wrong claims by racist pseudoscientists; a person who falsely claims to be a scientist, that people of African descent were inherently inferior to whites. Egypt was first consider Kemet before being renamed by the Greeks. “The ancient Greeks, they argue, developed the empirical method of inquiry and notion of individual freedom that characterize Western civilization.
West Africa is most of black Americans ancestral homeland. As we should know West Africa history is important for understanding the people who became the first African Americans. This is considered the biggest context of history and geography of the entire African continent. Some of West Africa society and culture is families & villages, women, class & slavery, religion, music & art, and literature: such as oral historians and poetry. The first known kingdom in Western Sudan was Ghana.
Ghana was founded by Soninke people in the north. From north Africa there were silk, cotton, glass beads, horses, mirrors, dates, and salts that was a necessity in the hot western Sudan. The West African forest region extends 2000 miles along the atlantic coast. Also, the Empire of Songhai (1464-1591) was built last and lasted the longest of the Western Sudanese empires. In conclusion, although Africa contributed to the African Americans background, the history of Africa truly started in West Africa.
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