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All Episodes

Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations | Hour Six

Explore the dynamism of 19th century Africa and the "scramble” for its riches.

The Atlantic Age | Hour Five

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

Cities | Hour Four

Explores the great African cities and their wealth and industry.

Empires of Gold | Hour Three

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

The Cross and The Crescent | Hour Two

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. charts the rise and impact of Christianity and Islam across Africa.

Origins | Hour One

Uncover the origins of man and early human society in Africa with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

About Africa's Great Civilizations

In his 6-hour series, 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.

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