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Africa's Great Civilizations 

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a fresh look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century.
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2017  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Henry Louis Gates ...  Himself - Presenter 6 episodes, 2017
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Storyline

In his six-hour series, AFRICA'S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.

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TV-PG
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Official Sites:

Official PBS Home page site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 February 2017 (USA) See more »

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Featured in Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Uncovering America (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Showing and telling
21 July 2018 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

It's interesting to compare 'Africa's Great Civilizations' with the recent BBC documentary 'Civilisations'. Apart from the difference in spelling, and the exclusive focus on Africa in Henry Gates' series, the central noun is interpreted in different ways: the BBC programme focused almost entirely on art, while Gates views civilisation more broadly. The program is thus somewhat lower brow, but it is a tremendously informative overview of African history (and cultural acheivements), often overlooked in global histories. Its biggest weakness lies in Gates' keenness to make the point that it should not be so overlooked: in its repeated claims of African greatness, it violates the rule of "show not tell". The concluding elision of the 20th century, dealt with in two sentences of cliche, is also strange. Still, I learnt a great deal watching the series, which essentially justifies the point Gates tries so hard to make.


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