UC Berkeley Library

African Studies General Overviews

Bahia, Africa in the Americas.

Elements of African culture are powerfully expressed in the food, art, dance, and most importantly, the Candomble (Umbanda) religion of the Afro-Brazilian majority of the state of Bahia. 1988. 58 min.

Black Athena

Reviews evidence that the culture of ancient Greece had its origins in Africa and the East and that the West should recognize what it owes to Black and Eastern cultures. 1990. 60 min.
web web sites:
Description from California Newsreel catalog
The Black Athena debate (web site)

Chinua Achebe (A World of Ideas with Bill Moyers).

Moyers interviews Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe who discusses the West's often inaccurate portrayal of Africa and how it is the African storyteller's obligation to be the collective memory of the African people. 1989. 28 min.

Chinua Achebe: African Literature as Celebration.

Uncompromising yet nonpartisan in his views on politics and writing, Chinua Achebe -- author, editor, and literary critic -- ceaselessly explores the collision of European and indigenous African cultures. In this lecture the well-known ambassador of African literature, delivers a thought-provoking introduction to the world-class writing that has come from Nigeria and other African countries during the latter half of the 20th century. Dist.: Films Media Group. 1990. 52 min.

Chinua Achebe: The Importance of Stories

An interview with the first great African novelist writing in English, the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. He discusses his personal views as an African and how his identity has shaped his writing. 1996. 57 min.


Chinweizu reads poems and prose from the African oral and written tradition and he discusses the African humanities and literature. 1989. 49 min.

Closing the Gap: The Round Table Process in Action.

Demonstrates the Round Table Process of the UN Development Program (UNDP) which assists developing countries in planning and managing their technical cooperation. As examples shows assistance projects primarily in Africa. Written and directed by Bernard Edmonds. 1990. 27 min.

Colonial Africa: Films from British Central Africa, 1940s-1960s.

Short feature films, comedies and documentary films produced in British Central Africa from the 1940s to 1960. Contents: l. Lux toilet soap commercial (Container title: Mary's lucky day) (b&w, si. with music, 11 min) -- 2. The box / Central African Film Unit (1948, col., si., 22 min.) -- 3. New acres / Central African Film Unit ; director, Henry Berriff ; producer, Dick Rayner (b&w, sd., 14 min.) -- 4. We were primitive / Southern Rhodesia Information Service (1947, b&w, sd, 19 min.) -- 5. Five messengers / Central African Film Unit (1948, col., si., 31 min.) -- 6.

Dakar to Port Loko: Perspectives from West Africa

Provides viewers with an unparalleled opportunity to experience West African life and perspective from the ground level. The film attempts to transcend popular perceptions of Africans as beholden to group mentalities by allowing individual African perspectives and personalities to shine through. Produced, filmed, and edited by Nathaniel Cogley. Filmed from Sept. to Dec. 2002. 98 min.

Diaspora Conversations: From Goree to Dogon

Actor Danny Glover and director Manthia Diawara travel through West Africa from Goree to Dogon, creating conversations that link different sides and accounts of the African diaspora. Traversing through various locales of West Africa, the film explores the historical questions that both confront and facilitate community. A film by Manthia Diawara. Dist.: Third World Newsreel. 2000 47 min.