If the intention of the McKissacks was to change the reader's perception of Western Africa, they accomplished that goal and more in this remarkable book. As I read about the royal kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, I kept wondering why I had never learned about Africa's history while growing up. I studied world history, but I was mainly fed information about western civilizations. How might this awareness of the rich and sophisticated medieval history of Africa changed the self-esteem of my young African-American self? I probably would have felt less inferior to the majority. I would have understood the greatness of my ancestors that began ages ago and how that same greatness flowed through to produce people who achieve in the modern era despite all odds. The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa should be required reading in any course on world history. It is easy to read and filled with helpful maps and illustrations. The McKissacks should be commended for the extraordinary research and scholarship they put into this book. Kudos!
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