Exploring the History and Culture of Africa and the African Diaspora: A Syllabus
If you are interested in learning about the history and culture of Africa and the African diaspora, this syllabus is for you. Featuring a selection of books that cover a wide range of topics and themes, this syllabus is designed to provide a guide for those who are seeking a deeper understanding of their cultural heritage and a way to chart a course for the future.
- Introduction to African Civilizations (John G. Jackson): A comprehensive introduction to the history and culture of Africa, covering a wide range of topics from the earliest civilizations on the continent to the present day.
- The Destruction of African Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. (Chancellor Williams): A book discussing the history of Africa and the African people, with a particular focus on the period of time during which Africa was colonized by European powers.
- Black Empire (George Schuyler): A novel set in an alternate universe where Africa has colonized Europe and the United States, rather than the other way around.
- Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (edited by George Breitman): A collection of speeches and statements made by Malcolm X, an African-American political leader and civil rights activist, between 1959 and 1965.
- The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, or Africa for the Africans (edited by Amy Jacques Garvey): A collection of writings by Marcus Garvey, an African-American political leader and civil rights activist who is known for his advocacy of Pan-Africanism and black nationalism.
- Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (Martin Bernal): A study of the influence of African and Near Eastern cultures on the development of ancient Greek civilization.
- Black Skin, White Masks (Frantz Fanon): A psychological and philosophical study of the experiences of black people in white-dominated societies.
- The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (C.L.R. James): A history of the Haitian Revolution, which took place in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and resulted in the establishment of Haiti as the first independent black nation in the world.
- The Iceman Inheritance: Prehistoric Sources of Western Man’s Racism, Sexism and Aggression (Michael Bradley): A study of the evolutionary history of human behavior, with a particular focus on the ways in which ancient human societies may have shaped modern attitudes towards race, gender, and violence.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander): A critical examination of the mass incarceration of black people in the United States, and the ways in which it serves as a continuation of racial segregation and discrimination.
- The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon): A political and philosophical analysis of the experiences of colonized peoples and the effects of colonialism on their societies.
- They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Ivan Van Sertima): A study of the history of Africa and its relationship to the Americas before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492.
- COINTELPRO: The FBI’s Secret War on Political Freedom (Nelson Blackstock): A book about COINTELPRO, a secret program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that was designed to monitor, infiltrate, and disrupt political organizations deemed to be a threat to national security.
- The Golden Age of the Moors (Ivan Van Sertima): A study of the history and culture of the Moors, a term used to refer to the Muslim inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal) during the Middle Ages.
- Blueprint for Black Power: A Moral, Political, and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century (Amos Wilson): A study of the political, economic, and social conditions facing black people in the United States, and a discussion of the strategies and tactics that black people can use to achieve power and liberation.
- From Babylon to Timbuktu: A History of the Ancient Black Races Including the Black Hebrews (Rudolph R. Windsor): A book discussing the history of Africa and the African diaspora, with a particular focus on the early civilizations of Africa and the contributions of black people to world history.
This syllabus offers a wide range of perspectives on the history and culture of Africa and the African diaspora, and provides a rich and varied resource for those who are interested in exploring these topics in depth. By reading these books and learning about the past, it is hoped that readers will gain a deeper appreciation for their own cultural heritage and be better equipped to navigate the present and shape the future in a meaningful way.
As Malcolm X once said, “History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.” By exploring the history and culture of Africa and the African diaspora, we can gain a stronger sense of our own history and identity, and use this knowledge to confidently chart a course for the future.