Had hoped this series (shown on the BBC in 4 parts) would have lived upto expectations but it didn't.
The presenter, Gus Casely-Hayford, is an Art historian, he didn't present the programme in an informative style, but kind of as someone who knew very little african history and it was all a "world of wonder" to him.
Whilst they do use this style of documentary making with some history programmes, ie. a presenter who is "learning" with you, more often than not when it is a European History they are discussing it is a well known or respected European Historian, ie. expert, presenting the programme and telling you the History, like a teacher.
Whilst they did use local African historians throughout the progranmme in each country, it was not enough for my liking.
There were some good items and footage, but for example, the first episode dealt with Nubia, and it was very much the European view told, that Nubian peoples were a different people to Egyptian. ie comments were made about Nubia and Egypt being enemies and that Egypt used Nubia for a supply of slaves (!!) etc etc.... As if seeing them as a "different" lesser peoples.
Also the points raised re the racist european interpretation of African achievement, ie. not believing that Great Zimbabwe was built by africans, same in Sudan, Benin etc etc.... instead of laughing such preposterous racism to bed, the presenter sort of felt he had to give a nod to it and then try and say why it was not true, and why it was africans who had built these things. As if giving those racist views some sort of credence, as if they were an acceptable view !
Again, too the dates used in the programme leaned toward the conservative, more European view of dates etc... and again, would have loved to have seen a genuine African Historian, such as Robin walker, present this with authority and gravity rather than someone on a unaware journey trying to piece things together as if no-one had ever done so before !
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