Ali A. Mazrui: The Africans - A Triple Heritage

"Nine programs of 55 min. each, BBC produced with Ali A. Mazrui, 1986. This nine part series presents Africans facing a triple heritage of traditional African, Islamic, and Western cultures.

The films are now available in DVD Format and can purchased at: Annenberg Media:

Each of the nine parts looks at specific issues facing Africa. Mazrui focuses especially on the conflicts of interest created by having a triple heritage of cultures. He presents information that contradicts the Western ideas of Africa. He shows how Africa is very complex, and has had a unique history. He also presents the negative impact the West has had on Africa. Mazrui has created a unique and interesting series. He takes an in-depth look at many of the complex issues that Africa has faced and is facing. He explores the African continent itself, its religions, its conflicts, its forms of governance, its culture, its technology, and the significance of Africa in the world. He presents his vision and hopes for Africa. However, this series was created in 1986, so Africa has changed since then.

Part 1: The Nature of a Continent
discusses African developments from the perspective of its heritage. Shows how geography influences history. Explores the roles that water, desert, and equatorial climate have played in developing African culture and civilization.

Part 2: A Legacy of Lifestyles
addresses what constitutes ""family"" in African culture. Examines matrilineal, patrilineal, and polygamous traditions as well as the impact of modern cities on family ties. (1986ANCPB) AV0062,VH VHS Video

Part 3: New Gods
examines the factors that influence religion in Africa, paying particular attention to how traditional African religions, Islam, and Christianity coexist and influence each other. Discusses the roles of Christian missionaries, Western secularism, Muslim sects, Egyptian pharaohs, and
native religions.

Part 4: Tools of Exploitation
looks at the manner in which Africa’s human and natural resources have been exploited before, during and after the colonial period. Traces the colonial legacy, the development of slavery, and European control of Africa’s natural resources. Special attention is paid to the roles played by Belgium and Great Britain. (1986ANCPB) AV0063,VH VHS Video

Part 5: New Conflicts
examines urbanization, warrior traditions, Europeancreated national boundaries, the Islamic jihad tradition, and nationalist movements of Africa’s postcolonial period.

Part 6: In Search of Stability
examines how to govern a continent where 70 coups have taken place in Africa during the last 25 years. Compares African military regimes, oneparty states, Marxism in Mozambique, and the styles of the presidents of Tanzania and Zaire. (1986ANCPB) AV0064,VH VHS Video

Part 7: A Garden of Eden in Decay
examines economic and agricultural failures and successes in Algeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. Although 70 million Africans suffer from malnutrition, their countries export food to Europe.

In Part 8: Clash of Cultures
the struggle to evolve new, effective, and essentially African ways of doing things is the topic of this episode. Africa’s triple heritage often sends conflicting signals. This can be seen in every area of life–dress, behavior, law, worship, and language. (1986 ANCPB) AV0065,VH VHS Video

Part 9: Global Africa
focuses on Africa’s role in international politics and economics, from U.N. participation to cobalt production and the political crisis in South Africa. Examines the continuing influence of the superpowers on the affairs of the continent. Illustrates African contributions to contemporary culture, including the significance of the African Diaspora, particularly in North America. Additional issues include the International Monetary Fund, food aid, and tourism. (1986 ANCPB) AV0066,VH VHS Video

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