Africa's Great Civilizations

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In his six-hour series, AFRICA’S GREAT CIVILIZATIONS, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.

Major corporate support for Africa's Great Civilizations is provided by Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, and Ancestry. Major funding is also provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Gilder Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS.

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Providing Support for PBS.org

Episodes 6

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations | Hour Six

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.

52:30

Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations | Hour Six

52:30

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations The Atlantic Age | Hour Five

Africa's Great Civilizations

The Atlantic Age | Hour Five

Explores the impact of the Atlantic world and the transatlantic slave trade.

52:11

The Atlantic Age | Hour Five

52:11

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Cities | Hour Four

Africa's Great Civilizations

Cities | Hour Four

Explores the great African cities and their wealth and industry.

52:01

Cities | Hour Four

52:01

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Empires of Gold | Hour Three

Africa's Great Civilizations

Empires of Gold | Hour Three

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

52:31

Empires of Gold | Hour Three

52:31

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Clips 13

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Afro Combs | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

Afro Combs | Africa's Great Civilizations

Did you know that afro combs were used in ancient African civilizations?

1:48

Afro Combs | Africa's Great Civilizations

1:48

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations City of Ile Ife | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

City of Ile Ife | Africa's Great Civilizations

Explore ancient African civilizations and the origin story of Ile Ife.

2:13

City of Ile Ife | Africa's Great Civilizations

2:13

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations City of Marrakesh | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

City of Marrakesh | Africa's Great Civilizations

When it was founded in the year 1070, Marrakesh was a center of politics and law.

2:44

City of Marrakesh | Africa's Great Civilizations

2:44

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations City of Meroe | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

City of Meroe | Africa's Great Civilizations

Explore the Great City of Meroe, third and last capital of the Ancient Kingdom of Kush.

2:31

City of Meroe | Africa's Great Civilizations

2:31

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations City of Timbuktu | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

City of Timbuktu | Africa's Great Civilizations

The heart of ancient Timbuktu’s intellectual life was its libraries.

1:41

City of Timbuktu | Africa's Great Civilizations

1:41

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Ironworking | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

Ironworking | Africa's Great Civilizations

Did you know that the invention of ironworking has its roots in Africa?

3:09

Ironworking | Africa's Great Civilizations

3:09

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Lalibela | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

Lalibela | Africa's Great Civilizations

Explore 12 churches that were carved out of rock in the ancient Ethiopian highlands.

2:58

Lalibela | Africa's Great Civilizations

2:58

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations The City of Gondar | Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations

The City of Gondar | Africa's Great Civilizations

Travel to the ancient city of Gondar in Africa's Great Civilizations.

3:39

The City of Gondar | Africa's Great Civilizations

3:39

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Previews 2

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Africa's Great Civilizations | Official Trailer

Africa's Great Civilizations

Africa's Great Civilizations | Official Trailer

Join Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on a voyage through 200,000 years of human civilization.

Africa's Great Civilizations | Official Trailer

Video thumbnail: Africa's Great Civilizations Interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Africa's Great Civilizations

Interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Learn more about Africa's Great Civilizations with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

2:00

Interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

2:00

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