11. Mansa Musa of Timbuktu                                                                      B

12.  Amda Sion: The Power of Confidence                                                  A

13.  The Swahili Poets of East Africa                                                           A

14.  Slavery                                                                                                  D

15.  Nation Builders: Dingiswayo, Shaka, and Mizilikazi                              B

16.  From the Great Trek to Apartheid                                                        C

17.  Their Own Way--Nkrumah, Kenyatta, and Haile Selassie                     C

18.  The Voice of New Africa                                                                       A

19.  Additional Topics

          a.  Dr. Livingstone                                                                              C

          b.  Cecil Rhodes                                                                                 C

          c.  Dr. Schweitzer                                                                               C

          d.  The Zanzibar War                                                                          A



A  Additional information very hard to find

B  A moderate amount of additional information should be available

C  Plenty of stuff available--an easy job

D  Too much information available--this will require a lot of sorting

            Africa may well be the next great world civilization.  For African people seem to be entering a new Artistic Age of self discovery and self expression. An excitement throbs in the air--much like Renaissance Europe must have throbbed.


            Historians are just beginning to realize that Africa already went through the first stage of civilization before white men arrived to interrupt the process.  Africa deserves more space in the history books than it is getting here.  But the research has barely begun.  In a few years, when we know more, we can write a much fuller history of African civilization.




            Forget Tarzan, Africa is not one big jungle.  Desert covers almost half of the continent, and open grassland covers almost another half.  Less than one-tenth is jungle, and less than one-tenth is mountainous.  Not many creatures can find food in the jungles, except monkeys and birds.  The big game animals live in the grasslands.  So did the people who built the first African cities.


            In west Africa, the city of Timbuktu became a great trading center between the salt mines of the desert to the north and the gold mines of the jungle to the south.  At least three empires rose and fell in the grasslands surrounding Timbuctu.


            The empire of Ghana had already flourished for several centuries when Arab traders arrived about the year 1050.  ­Arab raids eventually destroyed the empire, and missionaries converted the next rulers to Islam.  But Ghana was pure African.  Its people worshiped in the African religion.


            One religious belief covered most of Africa, It was a belief in one god, who lives in the sky.  Legends say that the sky once hovered much closer--so that children wiped their greasy fingers on the sky, and anyone who felt hungry took a bite out of a cloud.  People pestered and abused God so much that he climbed a spider web up to where the sky is now.  With God so distant, it becomes necessary to have messengers.  The spirits of dead ancestors could carry the messages.  So could the king, who was treated like a god.  But if the king acted badly, or even if his health failed, it was obvious that he had lost touch with heaven, and it became the duty of every citizen to remove the king.


            Another part of African religion lay in their concept of time.  Time had three dimensions: present, the past within living memory, and the distant past.  When a person died, he moved into the remembered past.  When his last acquaintance died, he moved into the distant past.  The future did not exist yet; it was only potential time.  Early visitors to Africa thought the natives wasted a lot of time sitting together in the shade each day.  Actually, they were very busy creating time--taking something which had not existed before, and making it a memorable part of their lives.


African religion needs much more research,


            When Ghana fell, the empire of Mali (MAH-lee) sprang up in its place.  It was one of the largest and wealthiest countries in the world at that time.  The rulers of Mali became Muslims, but most of the people kept their African religion.  Kankan Musa (MOO-sa) ruled as emperor, or Mansa, in the early 1300s.  As a good Muslim, Mansa Musa made a pilgrimage to Mecca, He took with him sixty thousand bodyguards and servants, and eighty camels to carry five million dollars worth of gold.  He ran out of spending money, and borrowed more in Egypt.  Never had the people of Europe or Asia seen so much wealth and power.  They quickly added Timbuktu on the far corner of their maps.


            Mansa Musa built the mosque of Timbuktu, and made that city a great center of learning.


            Then the Songhoy tribe revolted and took over the empire.  About 1500, Askia the Great reorganized the tribal governments of west Africa into a single Songhoy nation.  Doctors, judges, teachers, and writers abounded in Timbuktu.


            By 1600, Arab raiders with guns had captured Timbuktu.  They cut off the trade routes, and prosperity ended.  Timbuktu has crumbled, so that today it remains little more than a mud village.


            But some of the glory of west African civilization can still be seen in their bronze statues.  The best came from the Benin people in the jungle just south of the empires.  They first carved wax paper-thin, then made molds around it and filled the molds with metal.  It is probably the most skillful metal casting the world has ever known.  African woodcarvings have rotted in the dampness, but some tribes still carved excellent masks in the 1800's.




            On the east coast of Africa, Ethiopia has been a Christian nation for over sixteen hundred years--longer than any other country in the world.  It is a mountainous land.  So when the Islamic religion swept down through east Africa, the Ethiopian Christians remained tucked away in their mountain safety.


            Almost.  In the early 1300's, the Muslims decided to squeeze out this last pocket of Christianity in Africa.  The emperor of Ethiopia at that time was Amda Sion I (AIM-da TSEE-own).  He had already ordered the beginning of the Royal Chronicles--a running account of Ethiopian history which has been continued down through the centuries.


            The Chronicles do not mention that Amda Sion was a troublesome young man who seduced several girls, including his sisters who loved him dearly.  When priests objected, he threatened to throw them out of the country and tear down their churches.  The Chronicles would have us believe that Amda Sion straightened up in the face of national disaster, and became a good Christian leader.  Perhaps a different interpretation could explain these same facts:


            Amda Sion had faith in one thing--himself.  He made a lot of religious speeches to rouse up the enthusiasm of his soldiers.  But for himself, he needed nothing.  He ate and slept hardly at all.  He drove his soldiers on to battle after battle.  He liked to march in a large circle, rather than return through safe territory.


            Then the Muslims pulled all of their armies together.  The Ethiopian army marched through the lush green mountains to stop them where the mountains meet the desert.  They heard a noise like thunder, and saw Muslim soldiers as far as they could see.  Amda Sion's soldiers panicked and ran away, leaving just Amda Sion and his six generals.  So he told the six to attack the right side, and he would take the left.


            Amda Sion reached the desert first, and rode out against the huge invading army.  The Muslims could not believe their eyes.  They thought that only a devil would dare to ride out against them alone.  Panic seized them, and they wheeled their horses around.  Single-handed, Amda Sion drove them out of the country.


            By the time he got back to his soldiers, the priests were already proclaiming a miracle--that God and all his host of angles rode with Amda Sion, and that was why the Muslims fled.  (The priests did not explain why the Muslims could see the angels, but the Christians could not.)


            Even Amda Sion began to wonder if he had done it alone, or if he had been helped.  His self-confidence had been stretched beyond belief.  Doubts began to bother him.  From then on, nothing went right.  His power crumbled away.  He spent the rest of his troubled life wondering, doubting...




            In the year 1300, the language situations in Europe and Africa were about alike.  If Europeans wanted to write, they could only do it in the Latin language.  If Africans wanted to write, they could only do it in the Arabic language, (Ethiopia was an exception.)  Then in the 1300s, Europeans learned to write their own languages in the Latin alphabet.  You are reading an example of that now.  At about the same time, Africans learned to write the Bantu language in the Arabic alphabet.  They called that written language Swahili.  Swahili spread through most of eastern Africa.  But in western Africa (where many Americans trace their ancestry) people continued to speak in African languages and write in the separate Arabic language.


            High civilization developed in east Africa, but Western historians have not studied it as much as they have west Africa.  Eastern cities of stone have been discovered, but not very thoroughly investigated yet.  The greatest of these cities was Zimbabwe (zim-BOB-way), far to the south.  It flourished through trade with Arabia, India, and China.  The first Europeans who arrived were not yet advanced enough to understand how commerce works.  They interrupted the flow of trade, and Zimbabwe crumbled in poverty.


            Slavery destroyed civilization in west Africa.  But since European slave traders seldom reached east Africa, some parts of the culture continued there for a few more centuries.  One part was Swahili poetry.


            Swahili poetry has much stronger rhythms and pauses than the poetry of other languages.  For many centuries, it was written only for use in the Islamic mosques.  But in the 1800s, poets began to write about African religions, and about non-religious subjects, The most important person to bring about that change was Muyaka bin Haji (     ) of Mombasa.  Here is one of his poems:  




Silence has a mighty noise     so say the elders     Silence needs girdles*     for you to wind round your loins+     Despise not silence     nor have I despised it     Silence has a future    so take care of silence.

Silence is a sudden chance     happening to the very ones concerned       Silence will bring forth smoke     so don't open your eyes      Silence may mean deceit#     for ever and ever eternally,     Silence has a future     so take care of silence.

Silence, lift up your eyes     lift them up and look     Silence brings battles     so wherever you go     don't vaunt yourselves@     Silence catches the breath     it glides around like a soaring bird     Silence has a future     so take care of silence.



+wrap yourself in silence




            Many Swahili poets flourished.  Mwana Kupona (MWAH-na koo-PO-na) was the widow of a famous rebel chieftain.  Her long poem to her daughter contains much advice.  This is typical of Swahili poetry.




My child, be not sharp-tongued    be like me, your mother    I was married ten years     Yet we did not quarrel one single day.

I was wed by your father     with happiness and laughter     we did not abase* our mutual respect     all the days that we lived together.

Not one day did we quarrel     he met with no ill from me     and from him none did I encounter     until the time when he was chosen.+

And when death came     he repeatedly told me his content     and resigned himself in peace to God    while my heart was filled with grief.

From that time unto this day    I yet cease not from lamentation#     when I remember the ease     and plenty of our accustomed life.

If people heed one another     for ever they share fond memories     but those who strive against each other     regret it for eternity.



+by death


            Rhythm has always loomed important in African culture.  Drum rhythms pulse through African music.  This can still be heard in modern jazz.  And body rhythms--dancing--have always figured importantly in African life.  One interesting modern example of African music is the Missa Luba–the Catholic Mass sung in Latin, but with music of the Congo.




Slavery is not pleasant.  And the facts about it are not pleasant.


            The African tribes had always practiced slavery.  Captives in any tribal war became slaves until the next war.  Slavery was an accident which could happen to anyone.  And it might well be temporary.  A slave still got respect as a person.


            This type of slavery had been common in most civilizations--especially in Greece and Rome.  It had nothing to do with race.  For centuries, the Arabs had bought girls from Africa and other places to fill their harems.  This too had nothing to do with race or inferiority.  In fact, some Italian cities in the 1200s became the first governments in all the world to see anything wrong with slavery, and prohibit it.


            This small slave trade formed a part of African life, and continued down to the 1930s.  But with the discovery of America, a new type of slavery began, which would destroy the great civilizations of west Africa.


            The American Indians had died by the millions from European disease.  The Spanish and other conquerors wanted to fill their empty new lands.  Some African chiefs near the coast agreed to sell their extra slaves, and the American

slave trade began.


            England did most of the slave shipping, followed by France and Portugal.  Holland and Denmark did some too.


            But Europeans did not actually catch the slaves, They waited on islands off the coast, while coastal chiefs sent raiding parties inland.  Some chiefs even sold their own tribes into slavery.  Before the slave trade ended, approximately twenty million people had been shipped from Africa.  The organized society could not function with so many people gone, and the empires fell apart.


            The slave trade destroyed African civilization in another way too.  The slavers clustered along the underside of the "bulge' of the African continent.  This was the jungle fringe between the ocean and the empires of the grasslands.  These jungle peoples had never been as civilized as their northern neighbors.  With European guns, they raided the settled cities and farmlands.  Educated and advanced Africans either scattered or were enslaved.  More rowdy and brutish Africans terrorized the continent.


            During the Enlightenment, some Englishmen (especially the Quakers) argued that slavery was wrong.  One Englishman named Granville Sharp bought some African land at Sierra Leone (see-AIR-a lee-OWN) and made plans for a model community where black people could return to their homeland.  Sharp's plans included a tax on anyone rich enough not to work, and a model prison system where a wife might visit her husband overnight.  The first boat of settlers brought black Englishmen and their white girlfriends.  They soon discovered they could make easy money by selling the native tribes into slavery.  Poor Sharp; he had planned a perfect community, but had not counted on human imperfection.


            White settlers soon brought more slavery and a lot of drunkenness to Sierra Leone.  Then came black Canadian farmers who had once lived in the United States, but had fought on the British side in the Revolutionary War.  Also a band of black outlaws which had been kicked out of Jamaica.  England decided to stop all slave traffic on the seas; every time the English navy found a ship of slaves, it set them ashore in Sierra Leone.  The colony grew, but the white English government officials never let the black people rule themselves until 1961.


            After the French Revolution, France also stopped ships full of slaves, and set them free at Gabon.  But the French government kept control there until 1960.


            By the early 1800s in the United States, one-fifth of all black people had achieved their freedom--half a million of them.  Government leaders decided it would be better to have these free black people out of the way in Africa.  So they established an American colony at Liberia, next to Sierra Leone.  There was continuous trouble between the black settlers and the natives who did not want to give up their land or their profitable slave trade.  In the 1840s, the United States had worsening slave problems at home--so it tried to get rid of Liberia.  Since Sierra Leone did not want to take on any more problems, the Liberians declared their independence and wrote a constitution patterned on that of the United States.  Liberia and Ethiopia were the only two African nations to hold onto their independence during the colonial period which followed.


            In the twentieth century, Liberia has prospered from American rubber plantations.  In the 1930s, after slavery had been stamped out through the rest of the world, there came an embarrassing discovery that black Liberians of American descent still sold native tribesmen into slavery.   So the modern slave trade ended where it had begun four hundred years before.




            The slave trade did less damage in the eastern half of Africa.  So civilization limped on, and continued to develop there.  By 1800, eastern Africa began to enter an Artistic Age.  Swahili poetry threw off its religious limitations and became pure literature.  Strong kings with colorful personalities began to organize nations.  It was the same process that had occurred in the growth of most other civilizations.


            About 1800, down in the southeast corner of Africa, two sons of a chief tried to revolt.  One was killed, and the other fled.  He changed his name to Dingiswayo (ding-gis-WHY-o), which means "the wanderer."  He visited many tribes.  He made friends with European explorers and learned everything he could from them.  On the coast, he probably met traders from Arabia, India, and China.  When his father died, Dingiswayo returned home with grand ideas of building a nation.


            He organized his tribe into a strong army.  Then he invited other tribes to join him.  Sometimes he used force, but usually the neighboring tribes could be persuaded to live under the kind and generous rule of Dingiswayo.  He built a small and secure nation before he was captured and killed by an enemy--an enemy whose life the kindly Dingiswayo had already spared three times.


            Dingiswayo's greatest general was Shaka (SHAH-ka).  He came from the Zulu tribe.  Soon Shaka took over Dingiswayo's lands and enlarged them tremendously.


            Shaka was one of the world's military geniuses.  He never lost a battle.  He changed African warfare from distant spear-throwing to close stabbing.  He made his soldiers throw away their sandals because they could run faster barefoot.  Always he set the standards for great endurance.  His favorite battle plan was to completely surround his enemies so that none could escape alive.  The disciplined Zulu army spread fear wherever it marched,


            As Shaka's power grew, so did his cruelty.  He ordered mass executions simply because he felt angry.  It is estimated that Shaka and his army caused two million deaths.  When people could stand it no more, his brothers assassinated him.


            But Shaka did feel kindly toward his favorite general, Mzilikazi (mzil-i-KAH-tsee).  When Mzilikazi broke away to form his own Ndebele (ndee-BEE-lee) nation, Shaka did not bother to stop him.  Mzilikazi ruled the huge area which today forms Rhodesia and most of Botswana and the Union of South Africa.


            When white settlers penetrated northward from South Africa, Mzilikazi learned that his efficient army could not stand up against guns.  After disastrous battles, the sad king moved his people farther north where they lived peacefully until he died in his eighties.  During the reign of Mzilikazi's son, the white settlers invaded Rhodesia too, and took over the remains of that black nation.


            There was a fourth nation-builder--King Moshoeshoe (mo-SHWAY-shway) of Lesotho (Les-SUE-tu).  Other African leaders despised him because he would not make a fight against the invading white men.  But sly old Moshoeshoe quickly saw that he would get more protection from missionaries than he would from armies.  So he invited European missionaries in (though he never became Christian), and played off one European nation against another.  By the time he died.  Moshoeshoe had negotiated a guarantee that tiny Lesotho would remain a black-ruled nation.




            During the Baroque age, a group of Dutch Puritans fled to the southern tip of Africa.  European disease killed off most of the nearby tribes, so the white settlers considered it their land.  They planned to stay.  They called themselves "Boers," which is Dutch for "farmers."  After many generations, they began to call themselves "Afrikaners."  With slave labor, they created large and prosperous farms.


            A hundred and fifty years later, Napoleon got control of Holland, so England quickly seized all of the Dutch colonies before France could.  After Napoleon's downfall, England gave back most of the Dutch colonies--but not South Africa.  England freed the slaves and gave all citizens the vote,


            This so angered the Afrikaners that many of them decided to leave and start a new country to the north.  In long wagon trains, they made the Great Trek.  They founded two independent republics: Transvaal and Orange Free State.  The Afrikaners were not able to set up slavery again, but they did not allow black people any equality or a vote.


            Meanwhile, another migration was happening.  The Zulus and other tribes had gradually been moving southward.  The two migrations smashed into each other during the Great Trek.  The guns of the white Afrikaners destroyed the black armies.  The lands of the black newcomers became the lands of the white newcomers.


            In the 1880s and 90s, European nations grabbed up all of Africa except Liberia and Ethiopia.  England captured the two Afrikaner republics during the Boer War, and made them part of British South Africa.  One British army leader, Lord Baden-Powell, noticed that his black soldiers could take care of themselves far better than the white soldiers could.  He studied the survival games which African boys learned.  Back in England, he taught these survival skills to other boys, The idea spread all over the world, and was called the Boy Scouts.


            Meanwhile, the Afrikaners bitterly waited for the day when they could throw off English rule and once again set up their own racist society.  Some tried to revolt during World War I.  Later, many admired Hitler's racial policies, though they did not gather enough votes to put them into effect until after World War II.  Then in the late 1940s, South Africa began the policy of racial separation known as "Apartheid."


            According to the theory, black tribes would be given back their native lands, with the freedom to establish their own independent nations.  But it never worked that way.  White people ruled and black people suffered terribly-­even though the population is 66% of African ancestry, 20% of European ancestry, 30% of Asian ancestry, and 11% of mixed ancestry.  Only white people could vote.  The areas set aside for black reservations were tiny and strictly regulated.  People of Asian or mixed blood had no vote and no place to go.


            People could not travel freely from one area to another.  Every person had to carry an identity card stating his race.  (This classification was done by guessing from a person's appearance.  This haphazard method separated many brothers from sisters, husbands from wives.)  Interracial marriage was outlawed.  Busses, trains, park benches, bathrooms, restaurants, and schools were segregated.


            The United Nations condemned South Africa for violating human rights, and tried to get all nations to cut off trade relations.  The plan did not work--mainly because the United States refused to cooperate.




            Most nations of Africa regained their independence in the 1960s--after about seventy-five years of European rule.  The independence movement probably began in the 1940s among a small group of African students in London.  From west Africa, the group included the young and ambitious Kwame Nkrumah (KWAH-me n-KROO-ma) who later became the first president of Ghana.  From east Africa was the older and cultured Jomo Kenyatta (ken-YAH-ta) who later became the first president of Kenya.  And from South Africa came Peter Abrahams, the writer.  (See the next chapter.) This group tried to figure out ways for Africa to become itself--not just a copy of Western civilization.


            When Nkrumah returned to Ghana, he grew into a popular speaker.  He was a superb showman.  He offered a mixture of Christianity, Communism, and tribal magic.  He became prime minister.  England had scheduled Ghana to be the first colony to gain independence.  Nkrumah worked to speed up the process.  After Ghana became independent, Nkrumah broke the ties with the West, and moved closer toward Communism.  He made speeches which fired the spirits of freedom-loving people all over Africa.  But Nkrumah the great speaker had little ability as an administrator.  He thought he had to do everything himself, and soon became a dictator.  He erected a statue of himself forty feet tall.  As the voice of greater Africa, he went to Viet Nam to settle a dispute between the Communist world and the Western world.  While he was out of the country, the Ghanaian army removed him from office.  By then, the Ghanaian people felt happy to be rid of him.




            Independence came violently in Kenya.  A terrorist group called the Mau-Mau murdered black and white citizens.  Kenyatta had been organizing a political party.  He spoke for Independence and against the Mau-Mau.  But to many frightened white people, black rule seemed the same as black terror.  Kenyatta was accused of being a Mau-Mau leader, and sent to prison.  When independence finally came eight years later, politicians refused to cooperate under anyone except old Kenyatta.  He was released from prison to take ever the government.


            Kenyatta would not follow the West or the Communist world.  Instead, he slowly educated his people to discover their own potentials and their own forms of society.  Some people criticized that Kenya was not moving forward as fast as other nations who adopted foreign ideas.  Kenyatta often smiled and reminded them of an old African sayings "When elephants fight, it is the grass that gets hurt."




            When independence suddenly swept across Africa, only Ethiopia had long experience in orderly self-rule.  Many new African presidents looked to the Emperor Haile Selassie (HY-lee sel-LAH-see) for guidance.  He had been involved in politics since the reign of his distant cousin, the Emperor Menelik II (MEN-e-lik).  In the late 1800s.  Menelik had modernized Ethiopia and fought off the Italians who tried to make it a colony.  The next emperor was Menelik's grandson who converted to Islam.  This was too much for the Christian nation, so Haile Selassie helped lead a revolt which made Menelik's daughter the Empress Zauditu (             ).  She was the first woman ever to rule the country.  When she died, Haile Selassie became emperor for a short time before the Italians drove him out.  He appealed before the League of Nations, but nothing happened.  During World War II he was able to return.  One of his first acts as emperor had been to grant a constitution to the Ethiopian people.


            As the senior statesman of Africa, Haile Selassie helped to set up the Organization for African Unity.  From his own pocket, he built a meeting hall for the OAU in Ethiopia.  But Ethiopia remained one of the poorest countries in Africa.  People grew bitter because their emperor was spending his money on others, instead of giving it to them.  Through history, the emperor had protected the people from the land-owning lords.  They wanted Haile Selassie to equalize the wealth of lords and people.  But he had already given his powers to the people, and they had not yet learned how to use them.  Discontent grew, and in 1974 young army officers removed the old emperor from leadership.


            Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Rastafarians of Jamaica had long revered Haile Selassie as the promised black messiah.


            Nkrumah, Kenyatta, and Haile Selassie were men of vision--greater vision than their people had, greater vision than powerful outsiders had.  They saw the future of what Africa can make of itself.




            In the twentieth century, African art has had a strong influence on Western art--particularly the mask-like faces by abstract artists like Picasso.  African music, transplanted in America, has grown into worldwide jazz.


            With independence in the 1960s, Africans began a rapid self-discovery--political and artistic.  The artistic self-­discovery most often took the form of literature.  But even before independence, two African writers achieved worldwide fame:


ALAN PATON (PAY-ton)--a white South African who disagreed with the unequal treatment of black people.  His novel, Cry the Beloved Country, shows how the policy of hatred keeps good people apart and makes them suffer.


JEAN-JOSEPH RABEARIVELO (           )--He was born in an Asian family on the island of Madagascar, just off the coast of Africa.  He wrote in French. Since his poetry is difficult to describe, here are two examples:




Your flute,

Cut from the thigh bone of a mighty bull,

Polished on the bleak hillsides

Scourged* by the sun.                                                                                    *beaten

Her flute,

Cut from the reed that quivers in the wind

Pierced on the banks of running water

Drunken with moonlight dreams.


In the deeps of evening, play them together

As if to right the sphered canoe+                        +turn the round boat (the sun) right side up

Capsizing by the shores of sky

And keep it

From its doom.

But your plaintive incantations#                                                                        #sad songs

Do they reach the wind-gods

And the earth-gods and the wood-gods

And the gods of sand?


Your flute

Draws out a note where the ear can catch the tread of a maddened bull

Pounding toward the desert

And pounding back

Burnt by thirst and hunger

Felled by fatigue

At the foot of the tree without shadow

Without fruit, without leaves.


Her flute

Is like a reed that bends beneath the weight of a passing bird--

Not a bird trapped by a child

Ruffling its feathers

But a bird lost from the flock

Looking at his reflection in running water

For comfort.


Your flute ,

And hers--

Longing for their past

In the songs of your grief.





What invisible rat,

Come out of the walls of the night

            Gnaws the milk-cake@ of the moon?                                                                        @green cheese

In the morning

He will be gone

Leaving bloodstained marks of teeth.


In the morning,

Those who have been drunk all night

And those who have just left the gaming tables

Seeing the moon

Will mutter

"Whose is that sixpence

Rolling on the green table?"

"Ah!" will say one

"He had lost everything

So he killed himself!"


And they all will snigger*                                                                                    *laugh rudely

And stagger and fall.

The moon will be gone.

The rat will have dragged it into his hole.



            Around 1960, brilliant black writers popped up all over the continent.  Here are just a few:


PETER ABRAHAMS--He grew up in South Africa, but wrote most of his books in the free countries of England and Jamaica.  His book, Wild Conquest, describes the clash between the Boers on the Great Trek and the empire of Mzilikazi.  Abrahams shows both sides of the conflict; some black militants have complained about this.


CHINUA ACHEBE--(CHIN-oo-a a-CHEB-ee)--He is from Nigeria.  His novel, Things Fall Apart, tells how the missionary teachings disrupted the vigorous African way of life.


OKOT P'BITEK--(            )--He was from Uganda, and wrote originally in his tribal language.  Song of Lawino is a long poem spoken by a traditional African woman.  She complains about the falseness of Africans trying to imitate Westerners--particularly about the modern second wife her husband has taken on.


RICHARD RIVE (reev)--He was from South Africa, and wrote several powerful short stories.  "Resurrection" is about a girl of mixed race who hated her black mother, but begins to see life through her mother's eyes.


AMELIA HOUSE--To escape the censors in South Africa, she fled to the United States.  "Conspiracy" is a short story about interracial love in a police state.


EFUA THEODORA SUTHERLAND--She studied in the West before returning to Ghana, to write for children and adults.  "New Life at Kyerefaso" is a powerful little fable about what people can do if they have pride in themselves.


            This looks like the beginning of an Artistic Age in Africa.  If the patterns of history hold true, much more will probably come.






            David Livingstone was a Scotch doctor sent as a missionary to southern Africa.  Europeans told horrible tales of cannibals boiling missionaries in huge pots.  But evidence shows only six missionaries killed by natives in all of central and east Africa until European nations seized political control in the 1880s.  Many of the missionaries were Victorians who tried to stamp out African dance and make the people wear far more clothes than was healthy.


            Dr. Livingstone fell in love with Africa and the African people.  He resigned from missionary work and spent the rest of his life exploring the continent, learning as much as he could.  He also wrote many articles to stop the Arab slave-trade.  Then he disappeared into the interior, and people around the world began to wonder what had happened. An American newspaperman named Henry M. Stanley found him living peacefully in an African village.  Dr. Livingstone did not rejoice at being found.  When he died, the Africans he had loved so dearly preserved his body and carried it from the heart of the continent out to the sea, so he could be buried in Westminster Abbey with the other great Englishmen.





            Cecil Rhodes was an Englishman who discovered a diamond mine in South Africa at age eighteen.  He believed it was important for England to own all of Eastern Africa.  So he made a deal to work the gold mines ruled by Mzilikazi's son.  He soon took over the area now called Rhodesia.  He became dictator of South Africa, but had to resign when he got caught paying for a revolution in the Boer republics.  This led to the Boer War.  But Rhodes had moved on to Rhodesia, where he negotiated peace with the natives by riding alone into their territory.


            Rhodes left his huge fortune for scholarships at Oxford University in England.  The Rhodes Scholarship remains one of the most respected in the world.





            Albert Schweitzer was a French philosopher and organist.  In his twenties, he became the world's foremost expert on the music of Bach.  But he decided to devote half of his life to himself, and half to others.  So at age thirty, he gave up his brilliant organ career to study medicine.  He became a missionary doctor in Gabon.  But several times he did make concert tours in Europe and America to raise money for his hospital.  Some people said he was old-fashioned because he would allow no electricity in his hospital.  But Schweitzer remained a man of great love who tried not to disturb the African way of life any more than necessary.  Near the end of his long life, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.





            The Zanzibar War took place August 27, 1896, from 9:O2 to 9:4O in the morning.  It lasted thirty-eight minutes, and was the shortest war known in history.  Six years earlier, England had taken over the country, but the sultan still kept his empty title.  When he died, his cousin became sultan and declared independence from England.  What he did not know was that the divisions of the British navy had challenged each other to a ballgame at Zanzibar, and had gathered in the harbor.  They immediately bombarded the palace into a pile of rocks, and sank Zanzibar's one battleship.  The new sultan fled to German territory, and the war was over.



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