Sources of African History

Topics: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 2 (709 words) Published: October 9, 2011
Sources of african history
A source of history can be divided into two big groups, remnants and storytelling which usually are called primary and secondary sources. The primary sources, remnants and written documents are counted as more reliable than the oral history. African history has been a challenge for researchers because of scarce written sources in many regions, especially sub – Saharan Africa. Prejudice against black Africans in particular, which goes far back in history, has meant that African history has been dictated by Eurocentric or even racist research. According to many of the historians with a Eurocentric perspective there was no history in Africa, or so to say nothing they would refer to as history before the white man came to the continent, before it was only “dark” and the high mobility of the sub – Saharan Africa was described by some as “barbaric tribes senseless circling”. It wasn’t until the 1960: s that African researchers started to write African history themselves, before that the views were strongly Eurocentric. Previously many argued that Africa simply had no history because of the lack of written documents and the fact that most cultures around sub – Saharan Africa had no written language. When European explorers in the mid – 1800:s were exploring Africa they came upon the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, they refused to believe that Africans had built them, instead they made up theories that it had been developed by Arabs or medieval Europeans who strayed down to the west coast of Africa. The Afro centric movement was created during the 1960: s, one of their goals was to rewrite the African history with a focus on Africans, rather than the Europeans history on the African continent. To solve the problem with the lack of written sources led them to seek alternative sources of information like oral tradition which can be found throughout Africa, linguistics, archeology, anthropology and art. By studying linguistics you can find...
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