African Voices of the Global Past

1500 to the Present


Edited by Trevor Getz

First Edition • August 27, 2013 • 240 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813347875 • $25.00 USD$32.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813347882 • $9.99 USD$9.99 CAN

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Global historical events are too often recounted exclusively through European and American voices. African Voices of the Global Past explores six major historical developments of global significance—the Atlantic slave trade, industrialization, colonialism, the World Wars, decolonization, and the development of modern feminism—from an African perspective. Voices emerge throughout the text in the form of primary sources that explore the personal accounts of individuals. These enable students to look beyond the indistinct figures of Africans in European and American accounts to see the people directly involved and affected by the major global changes they experienced. Featuring contributed chapters from renowned scholars, many from the continent of Africa or the African diaspora, African Voices of the Global Past offers a unique view of global history from a traditionally overlooked perspective. This book is a perfect supplement for world history and African history instructors seeking to relate a compelling narrative of major world events.


Trevor R. Getz is a professor of African and world history at San Francisco State University. He is the author or coauthor of eight books, including Abina and the Important Men, Exchanges: A Global History Reader, Modern Imperialism and Colonialism: A Global Perspective, and African Histories: New Sources and New Techniques for Studying African Pasts.

1. Naming and Framing a Crime against Humanity
African Voices from the Transatlantic Slave System, c.1500-1900
Kwasi Konadu

2. Prophetesses and “Native Capitalists”
African Voices from the Industrial Revolution, c.1760-1880
Trevor R. Getz

3. When Satiety and Avarice Marry, Hunger is Born
African voices from the Colonial Era, c.1896-1945
Tim Carmichael

4. Isaac Fadoyebo at The Battle of Nyron:
African Voices from the First and Second World Wars, c.1914-1945
Saheed Aderinto

5. Pathways to Decolonization
African Voices from the Fight for Independence, c.1880-1994
Peter Adebayo

6. Moroccan Feminism as Universal Feminism
African Voices from the Feminist Struggle, c.1930-2000
Osire Glacier

“African Voices of the Global Past: 1500 to the Present is a powerful survey recommended as a basic history for any college level collection strong in African studies.”
The Midwest Book Review

“This book is a significant addition to [Africa’s place in world history writing] and is very likely to be a popular textbook and a companion to the existing history.”
African Studies Quarterly

“This unique book offers a broad spectrum of readings that provide a solid coverage of major developments in world history and their impact upon Africa and Africans. The care with which the editor solicited and organized the readings has resulted in a seamless work in which the writing styles are perfectly matched and create a sense of consistency and continuity. It is a well-written and extremely readable book that will engage students.”
—Devethia Guillory, Prairie View A&M University

“Finally, a textbook that takes an African perspective on the most important historical events of recent centuries. Organized chronologically to provide students with a sense of narrative, this clearly written text addresses multiple crucial themes that, for better or worse, have impacted Africa immensely since 1500. Its geographical breadth illuminates the diverse experiences of different populations in Africa. Most impressively, to appeal to students, the authors persistently provide context whenever they introduce primary sources or historiographical questions.”
—John C. Corbally, Stanford University

African Voices of the Global Past is a valuable resource for teaching African history from the global perspective. Organized in six strategically selected and vivid snapshots of the African experience that reflect the current state of research—the transatlantic slave trade, African intellectual responses to the global exchange and colonialism, and the feminist struggle in the late twentieth century—this book has shown us that placing Africa in the global context is fully compatible with giving due attention to the internal dynamics of the continent’s history. Its centralization of African perspectives of globally significant events and processes is set to help rescue African history from the last vestiges of hegemonic epistemologies. This book is an excellent reading component in both world and African history courses.”
—G. Ugo Nwokeji, University of California, Berkeley

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