African History

AmaWaterways' first Black heritage river cruise took place in August on the Rhône River in France.

These New River Cruises Celebrate Black History and Culture Around the World

On the heels of its first sold-out Black heritage cruise in August, AmaWaterways is unveiling new trips in France, Portugal, Egypt and beyond

Rüdesheim am Rhein in Germany

Eight Delicious Wine Regions You May Have Never Heard Of

With less tourist traffic, these UNESCO World Heritage Sites include vineyards that rival France’s Champagne or Burgundy

The memorial wall inside the new Africatown Heritage House

New Exhibition Tells the Story of the 'Clotilda,' the Last Known American Slave Ship

A display spotlighting the schooner's survivors is now open inside the new Africatown Heritage House in Mobile, Alabama

King Willem-Alexander lays a wreath as part of a ceremony on the Netherlands' National Remembrance Day of Slavery, during which he gave a speech apologizing for the country's involvement in the slave trade.

Dutch King Apologizes for the Netherlands' Role in the Slave Trade

The monarch's statement coincided with the 150th anniversary of slavery's abolition in the country's colonies

The crew of the USS Kearsarge, photographed shortly after battle with the CSS Alabama

Was This Civil War Hero the First Medal of Honor Recipient Born in Africa?

Recent research suggests Joachim Pease, a sailor recognized for his role in sinking a Confederate raider, was from Cape Verde

Adopting the last name of his former enslaver, Harry spent the rest of his life pursuing the ideal for which the name Washington has long been revered in American history: fighting for freedom.

Enslaved by George Washington, This Man Escaped to Freedom—and Joined the British Army

Harry Washington fought for his enslaver's enemy during the American Revolution. Later, he migrated to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone

A portrait of Prince Alemayehu in July 1868

Buckingham Palace Refuses to Repatriate Remains of Ethiopian Prince

Taken from his home as a small child, Prince Dejatch Alemayehu died in England at age 18

The analysis focused on 67 manillas from five shipwrecks off the coasts of Spain, Ghana, the United States and England. The largest study of manillas to date, the project aimed to use lead isotope analysis to pinpoint where the bracelets were produced. 

What Shipwrecks Reveal About the Origins of the Benin Bronzes

A new study traces the metal used to craft the brass sculptures to manilla bracelets produced in Germany and used as currency in the slave trade

Workers removed a statue of enslaver Robert Milligan in 2020. Eventually, the new monument will be located nearby.

New Monument in London Will Honor Victims of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

After removing a statue of an enslaver in 2020, the city aims to tell a new story

Swahili people maintained matrilineal family burial gardens such as this one in Faza, Kenya.

Ancient DNA Confirms the Origin Story of the Swahili People

Medieval individuals in the coastal East African civilization had almost equal parts African and Asian ancestry, a new study finds

A woman throws flowers on the boxes containing human remains at Waldfriedhof cemetery.

Berlin Holds Funeral for Bone Fragments Linked to Nazi Research

Discovered in 2014, the remains of at least 54 victims were buried at a ceremony this week

President John F. Kennedy meets with William Fitzjohn, Sierra Leone's charge d’affairs in Washington, in the Oval Office on April 27, 1961.

The African Diplomats Who Protested Segregation in the U.S.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy publicly apologized after restaurants refused to serve Black representatives of newly independent nations

This 1605 drawing of a Black sumo wrestler may depict Yasuke.

Who Was Yasuke, Japan's First Black Samurai?

In the late 16th century, the enigmatic warrior fought alongside a feudal lord dubbed the "Great Unifier"

The 17th-century fort at Portobelo, built by enslaved laborers, overlooks the bay area where some of the earliest maroons settled after gaining their freedom.

A New Discovery Puts Panama as the Site of the First Successful Slave Rebellion

Deep in the archives, a historian rescues the tale of brave maroons

Our ten-most read stories of the year featured the all-woman army of the African kingdom of Dahomey, mischievous felines, J.R.R. Tolkien and more.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2022

From a teen inventor to invasive fish to lost cities of the Amazon, these were our most-read articles of the year

“I want people to see the convergence and similarities in all of these Black lives," says Chance the Rapper, who is planning a free music festival in Ghana.

The History Behind Chance the Rapper's Black Star Line Festival

The event is named after an early 20th-century shipping line created by Jamaican activist Marcus Garvey

Egyptologist Zahi Hawass is leading a push to repatriate the Rosetta Stone, the Dendera Zodiac and the bust of Nefertiti to Egypt.

Who Gets to Tell the Story of Ancient Egypt?

On the eve of the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, some of the country's artifacts, from the Rosetta Stone to the bust of Nefertiti, remain overseas

This year's picks include Half American, Saving Yellowstone and River of the Gods.

The Ten Best History Books of 2022

Our favorite titles of the year resurrect forgotten histories and illuminate how the nation ended up where it is today

Smithsonian officials announce the transfer of ownership of 29 works of art to Nigeria; 20 will be returned (above: Bell, Benin kingdom court style, Edo artist,18th century), while nine will remain on loan.

The Smithsonian Returns a Trove of Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

The transfer of ownership of 29 artworks is the first to be carried out under a new policy and practice

Artist's rendering of John Canoe (Jan Kwaw), the Ahanta king who likely inspired the Bahamas' Junkanoo festival

The Gold Coast King Who Fought the Might of Europe's Slave Traders

New research reveals links between the 18th-century Ahanta leader John Canoe and the Caribbean festival Junkanoo

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