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Born in Blackness

Audiobook
Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   17 hour(s)
Publication date: 04/12/2022

NEW! Now Available

Born in Blackness

Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696606943

Summary

Revealing the central yet intentionally obliterated role of Africa in the creation of modernity, Born in Blackness vitally reframes our understanding of world history.

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Product Description

Traditional accounts of the making of the modern world afford a place of primacy to European history. Some credit the fifteenth-century Age of Discovery and the maritime connection it established between West and East; others the accidental unearthing of the "New World." Still others point to the development of the scientific method, or the spread of Judeo-Christian beliefs; and so on, ad infinitum. The history of Africa, by contrast, has long been relegated to the remote outskirts of our global story. What if, instead, we put Africa and Africans at the very center of our thinking about the origins of modernity?

In a sweeping narrative spanning more than six centuries, Howard W. French does just that, for Born in Blackness vitally reframes the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in the West, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe's dehumanizing engagement with the "dark" continent. In fact, French reveals, the first impetus for the Age of Discovery was not—as we are so often told, even today—Europe's yearning for ties with Asia, but rather its centuries-old desire to forge a trade in gold with legendarily rich Black societies sequestered away in the heart of West Africa.

Reviews/Praise

"A Black journalist reframes modern history by restoring Africa to its rightful place at the center of the story . . . This meticulously researched book eloquently debunks conventional understanding of European conquest . . . A fascinating retelling of modern history that restores Africa to its rightful place." ― Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Howard W. French is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and former New York Times bureau chief in the Caribbean and Central America, West and Central Africa, Tokyo, and Shanghai. The author of five books, French lives in New York City. To learn more, visit howardwfrench.com.