Title page of A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture A Native of Africa, but Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America Related by Himself

A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture A Native of Africa


In this excerpted source, Venture Smith recalls his experiences in the slave trade as a child. This source is especially important, as Smith gives a very vivid account of slave raiding, a common practice that took place during the peak years of the slave trade in the 18th century. Smith, the son of a Guinean Prince, was sold into slavery at the young age of three by his own mother. Unable to... Read More »

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A New Development in the Scout Movement in South Africa


This article by Baden Powell in a 1936 issue of the Journal of the Royal African Society refers to the compromise in South Africa that split scouting into four racially based "sections": European, Coloured, Indian, and African. Bringing the African Pathfinders into scouting as an affiliated organization allowed white scout officials to control this potentially subversive and embarrassing youth... Read More »

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A Rover Scout "Journey"


Rover scouting was a branch of the movement for young men in their late teens and early twenties who were too old for regular scout troops but wished to maintain their ties to scouting. It stressed service and leadership while offering a measure of vocational training. South Africa was the only English-speaking African territory in the colonial era to support African rover "crews."... Read More »

Image from the collection titled "Making Pottery at Kwilu" taken by Robert E. Smith in the 1960s.  It shows a woman kneeling over a clay bowl she is sculpting with her hands.

Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent

By using the search filters effectively, teachers can have students compare and contrast various images of worship, schooling, work, and landscapes to highlight the vast cultural and ecological diversity of Africa.
Photograph of a Goudiry Woman and Children

Africa Online Digital Library

The site’s stated goal is the implementation of emerging best practices in the “American digital library community” in an African context, and it does not disappoint. Indeed, the site demonstrates a rare combination of scholarly sophistication, ease of use, and broad appeal.
The image is a detail from the a photo titled "Boys at Boubon, Niger 1992" from Gallery 5 of the site.  It shows three Nigerian boys posing for a picture.

Africa Speaks: West African University Students Write About Their Lives

The great strength of Africa Speaks is the honest and unfiltered voices of the Nigerien students. Rather than being described and defined by journalists, scholars, and other outsiders, they speak for themselves about the experience of growing up in a developing and politically unstable African country during the 1970s and 1980s.
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Afriterra, The Cartographic Free Library

The maps can be used as important teaching tools for courses on many topics: African history; Atlantic World history; the slave trade; the era of European expansion; environmental history; and military history.
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An Appeal for African Scouts: Canon William Palmer to Imperial Scout Headquarters


Almost immediately after learning of Baden Powell's creation of the Boy Scout Movement in 1907, the leaders of African and ethnically mixed communities (known as "Coloureds" in South Africa) began to found their own informal scout troops. The South African scout authorities refused to recognize these unsanctioned troops as scouts on the grounds that Afrikaner boys would not join a multi-racial... Read More »

Analyzing Commission Records


The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video below, historian Meredith McKittrick analyzes sources from a commission hearing conducted in southeastern Nigeria in 1930 by British colonial officials. The hearing investigated a series of disturbances by local women following a rumor that... Read More »

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Analyzing Music


The modules in Methods present case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. In the video historian Michelle Kisliuk analyzes sources related to female BaAka dancers from the southwestern Central African Republic in the rainforest region dancing a hunting dance called Ndambo. Music and dance are important in BaAka culture... Read More »