What have historians been arguing about: African history in the precolonial period?

Teaching History article

By Toby Green, published 17th December 2020

The George Floyd killing and the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK have led to an upsurge in interest in African history: how (and whether) it is taught, where it is taught, and who teaches it. Although it is widely recognised that slavery must be taught, there is a desire for history and narratives that move beyond the victimisation of the Black past. This brings sources and voices into question: if the only sources used to teach African history were produced by White racist male slave traders, some of the approaches and analysis that result are likely to reproduce those ideas. How can teachers change the lens through which this period is viewed, while recognising that written sources remain useful? What are the benefits of doing this, and what is the history of the current, animated debate?

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