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Ozurumba Mbanaso or King Jaja of Opobo  

Joseph Davey

Between 1800 and 1900, West Africa’s coastal states struggled to maintain autonomy in the face of imperial overtures from European trade partners. Simultaneously, these states coped with an ... More

The Politics of Decolonization in French and British West Africa  

Frederick Cooper

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
At the end of World War II, Britain and France tried to find new bases for the legitimacy of empire. Their hesitant moves created openings that African political movements exploited. ... More

Postcolonial States and Societies in West Africa  

Ebenezer Obadare

Online publication date:
Dec 2017
Postcolonial West African history can be understood in terms of transitions across three successive eras: a post-independence era of high nationalism; the military era, characterized by ... More

The Sahel in West African History  

Barbara Cooper

The Sahel or Sahil is in a sense the “coast” of the Sahara and its cities major “ports” in trade circuits linking long-standing regional exchange in the products of different ecozones to ... More

Samuel Ajayi Crowther: African and Yoruba Missionary Bishop  

Andrew Barnes

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
Samuel Ajayi Crowther was a Church Missionary Society (CMS) missionary bishop charged with evangelizing the territories that became modern Nigeria. Over the last decades of the 19th century ... More

Socialist Politics in Lusophone Africa  

Michael G. Panzer

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
From the 1950s through the 1970s, several liberation movements emerged in Lusophone Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Cape Verde Islands) that fought ... More

The Soninke in Ancient West African History  

Kassim Kone

The Soninke are an ancient West African ethnicity that probably gave rise to the much larger group that is called the Mande of which the Soninke are part. The Soninke language belongs to ... More

The Stone Age Archaeology of West Africa  

Eleanor Scerri

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
In the early 21st century, understanding West Africa’s Stone Age past has increasingly transcended its colonial legacy to become central to research on human origins. Part of this process ... More

Stone Tools: Their Relevance for Historians and the Study of Historical Processes  

Justin Pargeter

From at least 3.4 million years ago to historic periods, humans and their ancestors used stone as the raw material for tool production. Archeologists find stone tools on all the planet’s ... More

The Amazons of Dahomey  

Agbenyega Adedze

Online publication date:
May 2020
The Amazons in general come from Greek legend and myth without any palpable historical evidence. However, there is no doubt about the historical female fighters of the erstwhile Kingdom of ... More

The Archaeology of Political Complexity in West Africa Through 1450 CE  

Stephen Dueppen

Political complexity in archaeological research has traditionally been defined as socio-political differentiation (roles, statuses, offices) integrated through centralized systems of power ... More

The History of Islam in Mauritania  

Erin Pettigrew

The study of the long-term history of what has been known since 1960 as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is possible largely because of inhabitants’ early embrace of Islam in the 8th ... More

Urban Life in French West Africa (FWA)  

Odile Goerg

Online publication date:
Dec 2019
During colonial times, cities, whether ancient or modern, underwent enormous changes. Urban life can be seen as a story of continuity and change, of invention and adaptation. Multiple ... More

West African Cinema  

John C. McCall

Online publication date:
Sep 2018
Motion picture technology developed at the dawn of the 20th century, just as the formal colonization of Africa was launched at the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885. While it took a few ... More

West African Manuscripts in Arabic and African Languages and Digital Preservation  

Fallou Ngom

West African manuscripts are numerous and varied in forms and contents. There are thousands of them across West Africa. A significant portion of them are documents written in Arabic and ... More

Western Education and the Rise of a New African Elite in West Africa  

Apollos Okwuchi Nwauwa

With the arrival of Europeans in West Africa in the 15th century, which preceded formal conquest and pacification, missionaries took the lead in introducing Western education as an ... More

Women in Benin  

Jessica Catherine Reuther

Online publication date:
Jul 2019
The modern-day Republic of Benin in West Africa was historically a patchwork of precolonial kingdoms and acephalous zones. In the 17th century, the kingdom of Dahomey formed in the south ... More

Women in Guinea-Bissau  

Joanna Davidson

Online publication date:
Jul 2019
Guinea-Bissau, a small West African country, is home to a multiplicity of ethnic and religious groups with complicated historical entanglements along the Upper Guinea Coast and across ... More

Women In Liberia  

Mary H. Moran

Online publication date:
Mar 2019
Liberia is a small country on the west coast of Africa, lying within the monsoon tropical forest belt and recording some of the highest annual precipitation rates of any place on earth. ... More

Women in the Gambia  

Catherine Cymone Fourshey

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
A predominantly rural territory with few urban centers historically, the Gambia holds little in the way of well-known luxury resources commonly discussed in studies of western Africa. ... More

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