African history

Ibn Battuta, the Traveler of Islam

Ibn Battuta's 14th-century travels were extensive. He was away from home for roughly 24 years and during that time traveled through virtually every Muslim nation and territory, becoming the traveler of the age.

Interview: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Dr. Gates joins Holly to talk about history's impact on our future, Black History Month, and his upcoming PBS series "Africa's Great Civilizations."

African Art History With Carol Thompson

Holly is joined in the studio by Carol Thompson, Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art at the High Museum of Art. Carol shares her incredible knowledge, stories from her personal life and the importance of studying Africa's rich art tradition.

Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe was a massive stone city in southeastern Africa that was a thriving trade center from the 11th to 15th centuries. But when Europeans first learned of it in the 16th century, they were certain it wasn't African at all.

The Amazons of Dahomey

The kingdom of Dahomey may have had the world's first full-time, all-female combat fighting force. How did these women rise to become some of history's fiercest warriors, and what happened to them?

Dahomey and the Royal Palaces of Abomey

The Royal Palaces of Abomey are a series of earthen palaces in what is now Benin. The complex is culturally and historically important to West Africa, but the source of much of the wealth that built those palaces was the Atlantic slave trade. Read the show notes here.

A Condensed History of Rhodesia

In 1888, Cecil Rhodes and John Smith Moffat duped the king of the Ndebele people into a treaty which led to the expansion of British territory in Africa. From then until the late 1900s, Rhodesia was governed by a white minority. Read the show notes here.

King Djoser and Egypt's First Pyramid

The pyramids at Giza are iconic Egyptian landmarks, but they weren't the first to appear. Djoser and his vizier Imhotep are credited with starting the pyramid trend.

Cosmetics From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World

Makeup has a rich and lengthy history that spans the globe and crosses cultures. From 10,000 B.C.E. to the 20th century, people have been using cosmetics to enhance their looks -- sometimes with unintended side effects.

The Yaa Asantewaa War of Independence

The Asante-British war of 1900 capped about 100 years of war between Great Britain and the Asante Empire, which occupied part of what is now Ghana.