Note to Educators
The purpose of this study guide is to help you and your students understand, engage and manage the information that is represented in this film. It serves as a tool to help your students pause, reflect and deepen their thinking about the subjects addressed in this film.
It is important to emphasize the sensitive nature of the subject treated in this film. While it is factual and peer reviewed material that is represented in the film, the narrative is highly subjective. This helps the students identify with the story and realize that regardless of where they are, the African narrative is full of plot holes waiting to be filled by a new generation of storytellers.
Some students may approach you with experiences that support the argument but sometimes may also challenge the narrative since our history has often been misrepresented or undervalued.
With this in mind, we have designed this guide in a way that allows you to focus on one segment of the video at a time. Furthermore, the eight chapters it is divided into enable you to closely follow the main arguments presented in the video as it progresses.
In this highly educational documentary we travel along a chronological timeline starting with the birth of the universe, the origins of life and humanity's first steps, here in Africa. Followed by what we call Africa's Golden Age, from Kemet to Great Zimbabwe, passing through numerous empires and civilizations all across this continent.
We delve into Africa's Dark Ages, from slavery to colonialism and celebrate the return to independence. Finally, we take a look at our place in humanity's twenty-first-century and the possible futures that we are shaping.
Along the journey, Africa's major contributions to science and humanity serve as a guiding thread to connect the stories.
Pre-Viewing Discussion Questions
- What is your view of Africa and its role in the world?
- What did Africa contribute to humanity?
- What is the role of Africans and people of African descent in the future of humanity?
- How is Africa portrayed around the world?
- What arguments have you heard about why Africa is underdeveloped?
The 8 Chapters of The Chronicles of Africa
The primary purpose of this section is to aid both you and your students in easily recollecting the film's particulars during class discussions. They also serve as a point of reference for students while they are engaged in assignments.
A unique look at the origins of the cosmos by opposing academic facts to African mythological stories, making it easier to understand the importance of scientific methodology but preserving the cultural value of our own mythology.
This chapter explores the origins of life on earth, how humans first evolved in Africa and spread to the rest of the world, and how evolution and natural selections is constantly occurring under our eyes. At this point in the film a scientific base that is respectful of panAfrican values and ideas is set.
Golden Ages Of Africa
From mathematics to civilization, music to history itself, the foundations of what we are today as a technocratic and advanced species were laid on this continent at a time where Africa was a source of ideas, abstract reasoning and creative thinking.
The Dark Ages Of Africa
The impacts of slavery and how involuntary artificial selection shaped the social construct of Africa in a way that enabled the almost complete take over of its natural resources and even its people as resource. We see how greed-driven imperialism reached never foreseen heights that non-coincidently mark the beginning of technological progress but also environmental degradation.
From the same perspective we explore the emancipation of Africans and African countries from all sorts oppression on and beyond the continent. The self-obtained and complex independence that one might argue is still not completed today and how, in the age of globalization and interconnectivity, Africa still serve as a provider of resources to the detriment of it’s own development.
We learn that more often than not staying away from the technocratic modern way of life is a choice, that the region of the world that contributes the least to climate change suffers the most from it’s consequences. And, ultimately how the so called primitive but sustainable way of life still prevalent in the region might save our species.
The three networks that served as technological foundation to human progress and how they might develop in more sustainable ways on the African continent. We learn about computer science through African ethno-mathematical methods from Egypt, Nigeria and other African societies and how un suspicious local practices inspired boolean mathematics and binary computer code.
We analize the possible futures that we may face and the positive evolution and development we may get if we understand our past and enable the necessary scientific knowledge to capitalize on our collective cultural wisdom. We take a look at the dangers of ignoring scientific method in a interconnected world shaped uses it by technological competition.
Post-Viewing Discussion Questions
- Val Lopes lays out three networks that are fundamental for regional development. What are they?
- What is Africalogy? What is a Africologist? And how can a Africologist contribute to the betterment of Africa and its people around the globe?
These Assignments facilitate a more thorough engagement with the film among students by prompting them to undertake tasks such as conducting research, collaborating on group and individual projects, delivering presentations, and composing formal essays. These assignments are intended to stimulate students to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the video's subject matter, to engage in critical and independent thinking about the same material from diverse viewpoints, and to create and defend their unique perspective on the topics at hand.
- Research online and find different perspectives on the reasons why Africa is underdeveloped.
- Drawing on both argumentations, the one in the film and what you found online, write a paper analyzing both views. Explain the one you defend and why you argue for it.
- Reflect on the philosophical aspect of the film and explain what is the underlaying theme in it?
- Ask students to write their reactions down on a of subject of their choosing mentioned in the film. Divide students up based on their chosen topic and allow them to discuss their reactions.
- Reflect individually on how your perspectives on Africa and it’s people (including panAfricans) have changed.
- Present your reflections to other students and discuss them in groups or class.
Get in touch
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