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Africa's Great Civilizations

The City of M'banza-Kongo | Africa's Great Civilizations

The Kingdom of Kongo was one of the largest and most powerful in the southern half Africa. At the heart of the capital in M'banza-Kongo stand the ruins of a building constructed in the middle of the 16th century. It's one of the most important architectural remains in the history of Sub-Saharan African Christianity. Learn more in Africa's Great Civilizations with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS.

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Full Episodes
A small town near a mountain range. | "Africa's Great Civilizations: Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations"
Episode
52:30
Africa's Great Civilizations

Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations

Gates explores the dynamism of 19th-century Africa, the "scramble" by European powers for its riches, and the defiant and successful stand of uncolonized Ethiopia.
A man holding a cane stands by an ocean. | "Africa's Great Civilizations: The Atlantic Age"
Episode
52:11
Africa's Great Civilizations

The Atlantic Age

Gates explores the impact of the Atlantic trading world, giving rise to powerful new kingdoms, but also transatlantic slave trade. Learn of the revolutionary movements of the 18th-early 19th centuries, including the advent of the Sokoto Caliphate.
A historical building featured in "Africa's Great Civilizations: Empires of Gold."
Episode
52:31
Africa's Great Civilizations

Empires of Gold

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the complex trade networks and advanced educational institutions that transformed early north and west Africa from deserted lands into the continent's wealthiest kingdoms and learning centers.
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Episode
52:30
Africa's Great Civilizations

Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations | Hour Six

Explore the dynamism of 19th century Africa and the "scramble” for its riches.
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Episode
52:11
Africa's Great Civilizations

The Atlantic Age | Hour Five

Explores the impact of the Atlantic world and the transatlantic slave trade.
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Episode
52:01
Africa's Great Civilizations

Cities | Hour Four

Explores the great African cities and their wealth and industry.
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Episode
52:31
Africa's Great Civilizations

Empires of Gold | Hour Three

Uncover complex trade networks & educational institutions in north and west Africa.
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