» » Wonders of the African World with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Short summary

Africa is a continent of magnificent treasures and cultures -- from the breathtaking stone architecture of 1,000-year-old ruins in South Africa to an advanced 16th century international university in Timbuktu. However, for centuries, many of these African wonders have been hidden from the world, lost to the ravages of time, nature and repressive governments. Join Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates, on the journey from Zanzibar to Timbuktu, the Nile River Valley to Great Zimbabwe, the slave coast of Guinea to the medieval monasteries of Ethiopia in search of the lost wonders of the African world.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: RED
    Almost a decade ago, this series appeared on PBS and since it was Public Television, hardly anyone watched it. Soon afterwords, it came out on videotape and once again hardly anyone watched it. It is no longer in print and the only way I was able to get a copy was off eBay.

    So why did I search so long to get a copy? Well, the series was THAT good and it makes a wonderful film for students in American History classes--which is where I sometimes use it. Additionally, it explores, in depth, the roots of Black-America in Africa in ways that TV rarely does--looking at the greatness as well as the low-points of the cultures. This ranges from wonderful histories of the powerful kingdoms of Ethiopia and Timbuktu as well as the Black involvement with the slave trade--the high points and the low. The honesty and insights are quite refreshing and paint a rich tapestry. Dr. Gates has managed to teach us great stuff AND be interesting and engaging in the process (imagine that). And, thankfully the series is not marred by political correctness or any agenda--it's just good and enjoyable.
  • comment
    • Author: Delaath
    Yes, this is a wonderful series, great for history students, but more so for anyone who wants to know and understand more about our world and its cultures. And, if you're interested in U.S. history, how Africa played a role here. H.L. Gates is not only very knowledgeable but as mentioned he makes his subject in no way dry or boring. It's a shame that so few people have seen this series - it was a real eye-opener for me and for others in our (mostly white!)African studies class. Our prof also mentioned difficulty acquiring these films. One student after another, all adults, asked why we had never heard about these amazing cultures when we were in school. We'd been taught about the Greeks, Romans and Europeans, but all we knew of Africa and it's incredible variety of countries and people were Egypt, and African Americans re: the Civil War and Civil Rights. I think Africa remains the "dark continent" for many Americans, unfortunately. If you ever have the opportunity to see even a part of this series, do so.
  • Series cast summary:
    Henry Louis Gates Henry Louis Gates - Himself - Host 6 episodes, 1999
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