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African Studies General Overviews

A Son of Africa.

A docudrama based on the book, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Oloudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vaasa the African, which was the first influential slave autobiography. When it was published in 1789, it fueled a growing anti-slavery movement in the U.S. and England. This production employs dramatic reconstruction, archival material and interviews with scholars. Equiano's narrative begins in the West African village where he was kidnapped into slavery in 1756. He was shipped to a Virginia plantation and then later sold again to a British naval officer.


A series presenting Africa through the eyes of its people, conveying the beauty and diversity of the continent and the compelling personal stories of those who shape its future. Originally broadcast Sept. 9-Oct. 28, 2001 on the PBS program: Nature.
Episode 1. Savannah Homecoming. Witness the spendor of East Africa's golden plains set against the backdrop of age-old animal migrations in this story of two women and their journeys between bustling cities and rural landscapes.

Africa and the United States.

Africa, a continent of 55 nations is literally defined by dichotomy, a land of famine, human rights abuses and failed nation states but also of untapped wealth and the setting of one of history's greatest nonviolent revolutions, the transition to Black majority rule in South Africa. These dichotomies are reflected in American foreign policy which seems caught between constructive engagement and benign neglect. Carol Lancaster, Dept. Asst. Sec. of State for African Affairs and Susan Rice, Asst. Sec. of State for African Affairs discuss American foreign policy in relation to Africa.

Africa Come Back: The Popular Music of West Africa (Repercussions: A Celebration of African Influenced Music; 7)

From Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, this film traces the ties that bind the music of coastal Africa to the music of Europe and the Caribbean. Spirited performances move through a variety of Afro-European fusions to the tough and exhilirating sounds of urban Jamaican popular music, including reggae and deejay. Dist.: Films Media Group. 1984. 60 min.

Africa Dreaming.

Contents: Sophia's homecoming / directed by Richard Pakleppa ; produced by Bridget Pickering (28 min.) -- Sabriya / written and directed by Abderrahmane Sissako; produced by Dora Bouchoucha Fourati (28 min.) -- So Be It / written, directed and produced by Joseph Gai Ramaka (28 min) -- The Gaze of the Stars / directed by Joao Ribeiro; produced by Pedro Pimenta

Africa Speaks!

Narrator, Lowell Thomas. Documentary account of Paul Hoefler's photography expedition through central Africa in 1928-1929. Containing many varied and interesting shots of African tribes and wildlife, the film footage from it was later interpolated into many jungle-themed adventure movies. Originally released as a motion picture in 1930. 60 min. [preservation copy]


8 part series by Basil Davidson. The story is unfolded on location all over Africa, showing life as it is today, plus archive film and dramatized reconstructions. Two programs per cassette, each an hour long. 1984. Different But Equal (Part 1). Describes how some of the world's greatest early civilizations had their origins in the heart of black Africa and discusses some of their artistic, technical and scientific achievements. Mastering a Continent (Part 2). Looks at two important developments in early African society, the growth of cattle keeping and agriculture.

Africa: War is Business

The world is slowly awakening to a disturbing reality-that the diamond trade is a major source of financing for warfare and brutality in Africa. But diamonds are only one natural resource among many that feed bloody conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Congo, and other countries. This program explores the role of international business interests in fomenting rebellion and arming renegade military forces across the African continent-often as a means of obscuring other, equally nefarious, dealings and activities. Dist.: Films Media Group. 2005.


Looks as the information technology revolution which has become a daily reality in many African countries where the Internet, mobile telephones and digital video cameras are being used with extraordinary creativity. Visits a marabout who explains he no longer replies by letter to questions but uses his mobile phone and email to transmit his advice. Another illustration of the digital revolution in Africa is the rise of internet cafes and cyber teahouses. In some towns in Senegal and the Congo, increasing numbers are connecting to internet using a laptop computer with a mobile phone. 2003.

AIDS in Africa

Describes the harsh reality of the AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe, the hardest hit by the disease in Africa. Three successive reports address the hardships of a society composed of mostly the very old and the very young, and the grim future facing a nation deprived of its core adult population. Archbishop Desmond Tutu joins in the discussion of this monumental tragedy. Episodes from the television program, Nightline, originally airing Mar. 8-10, 2000. Reporter, Ted Koppel; correspondent, Dave Marash. Dist.: Films Media Group. 58 min.