Africa: Volume 1, African History and Culture Before 1900, provides new perspectives on African history and culture, surveying the wide array of societies and states that have existed on the African continent and introducing readers to the diversity of African experiences and cultural expressions. The authors reconstruct the history, cultures, and key institutions of African societies during significant historical eras both to educate and to stimulate further discussion and research.
The second edition combines the first editions of Volumes One and Two, African History Before 1885 and African Cultures and Societies Before 1885, to emphasize to the reader that history and culture are inseparable. "Culture" includes all of the ideas and beliefs that Africans have articulated over time and, thus, understanding culture is essential to understanding a people and their history. The book also stresses the continuity of history and culture and underscores African agency in shaping events and ideologies throughout the continent.
Toyin Falola and Steven J. Salm bring together African studies experts who work together to break general stereotypes about Africa, focusing instead on the substantive issues of the African past from African perspectives. African History and Culture Before 1900 challenges the accepted ways of studying Africa, provides flexibility for instructors to structure courses, and encourages readers who are eager to learn about the diversity of the African experience. The text is richly illustrated and include maps and timelines to enhance the clarity of cultural and historical movements. Each chapter also includes sidebars to add depth to the stories of history, as well as suggestions for further reading to help readers broaden their own particular interests.