|Contact Us | Help | Text Only|
Forum / Feedback
We want to hear your views about the major debates in African history.
For inspiration you can draw on our fourteen part website (sections listed to the left), as well as The Story of Africa radio project, which includes:
The Story of Africa: Twenty Four part series of programmes.
(30 minutes each)
Talkabout History: Two discussion programmes on the study of history.
(30 minutes each)
Africa in History: Six historical debates from the Origin of Ancient Egypt to Africa's role in the Slave Trade.
(30 minutes each)
To listen to any of these radio programmes, please visit the Programmes section.
The main debating subjects are listed below. Choose a subject, or even two, and email us with your opinions, theories and stories. Please state the country in which you are resident.
>> Forum 1 : Ancient Egypt and the Nile Valley
Who were the Ancient Egyptians? Were they black Africans? Why should their origins matter so much? Is the history of Egypt being used by some African American to improve their self-esteem?
>> Forum 2 : Religion in Africa
The role of African Traditional Religions (ATRs) in the political and social development of the continent is only now beginning to be appreciated in the West. But what of their relationship with Christianity and Islam?
Is it all about conflict and persecution, or more about integration and fusion?
>> Forum 3 : The Legacy of the Great Empires
Starting in the 10th century and ending in the 16th century, Ancient Ghana, Mali, Songhai and Kongo created a commercial climate as competitive, profit driven and expansionist as any state in Europe.
Was this Africa's Golden Age? Did Malians beat Columbus to the Americas? Why is Africa so often portrayed in history as poor and exploited? Why is the figure of the intrepid trader so rarely represented in historical and contemporary accounts?
>> Forum 4 : Slavery
Over a period of four hundred years at least 15 million Africans were caught up in the slave trade. Many died crossing the Atlantic, while others perished on the plantations.
Is it possible to put a price on these historical injustices. If so, who should pay whom? Should African governments benefit? Should the descendants of African slave traders be penalised? Can the slave trade be called a Holocaust when the intention of slave traders was not to kill African slaves, but keep them alive to generate profit?
>> Forum 5 : Colonialism
After centuries of trade Europe carved up Africa in the l880's in less than a decade. Colonialism brought taxation, forced labour, two world wars and new concepts of land-ownership disadvantageous to the people in Africa. But colonialism also brought education, increased trade, and improved communications.
Would Africa have been better off with no contact with Europe?
>> Forum 6 : Independence
The mood of most Africans at Independence was one of extreme optimism and hope. But within a few years, the political and economic fragility of many new states became obvious.
How much was Africa or the West to blame? Has Europe continued to exploit Africa through trade and aid? Or does the problem lie in chronic instability, and corrupt, ineffective government?
>> Forum 7 : Living History
History is all around us: in ceremonies and songs, in the landscape, in buildings and roads, the clothes we wear. It's part of family life: both in oral history handed down across the generations, and events experienced first hand by elders.
Tell us your favourite historical characters, episodes or snapshots from your region. Or describe a historical event from further afield that particularly captures your imagination.
And how is history taught in your school or university? Could there be improvements?
Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.