African Icons : Ten People Who Shaped History
by Baptiste, Tracey; Wilson, Hillary D. (ILT)

Introduction: When Africa Fueled The Worldviii
The Sahara Vawns
Menes: Creator of Dynasties
Merneith: A Queen Erased
The Dawn of Egvpt
Imhotep: From Peasant to God
Metal Bonds
Nature As Character
Aesop: The Wisest Man in the Ancient World
Across the Ujaues
Hannibal Barca: Unparalleled Military Strategist
Terence: North African Playwright
Amanirenas: Warrior, Diplomat, Queen
Where Few Dared to Tread
Tin Hinan: Founding a City on the Dunes
Across the Golden Sand
Mansa Musa: The Richest Man of All Time
The Catalan Atlas
The Power of the Griot
Libraries in the Sand
The Winds Change
Queen Idia: Kingmaker
Culture Lost
Author's Note140(3)
Source Notes143(8)
Designer's Note160

From ancient times through the 16th century, this underrepresented side of Black history and Black excellence presents heroic full-color portraits and 10 stories of people who helped shape the African continent. 50,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Ten carefully chosen biographies-of six men and four women-introduce figures who have made invaluable contributions to Africa's history. Profiled here are Egypt's first pharaoh, Menes; First Dynasty Queen Merneith; Imhotep, medical demigod and vizier to a king; storyteller Aesop, alongside text of "The Eagle and the Beetle"; military commander Hannibal; playwright Terence; Queen Amanirenas, who defended her kingdom against the Roman Empire; disabled woman Tin Hinan, who founded a desert city and became a queen; warrior queen Idia; and Mansa Musa, then the richest man in the world, who became an emperor. Scattered throughout these biographies are fascinating facts (e.g., most maps show Africa 14.5 times smaller than it really is in comparison to other continents). Baptiste includes contextualizing background in each profile that addresses the richness of Africa's history. Each profile contains a color illustration with a name-pronunciation guide. Readers will be fascinated by the lives of these icons and gain a real appreciation of Africa's underrepresented place in world history. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Ten historical African figures' biographies are interspersed with notes on the history of the continent. What Baptiste accomplishes in only 139 pages of narrative is near miraculous. She lifts the veil intentionally cast over African history, granting readers a veritable feast of information and inspiration. Readers meet, among others, Menes, who unified Upper and Lower Egypt in the 31st century B.C.E.; Amanirenas, first-century B.C.E. queen of Kush, who expelled the Romans; and Idia, the 16th-century queen of Benin who wielded kingmaker powers and ensured diplomatic ties with Portugal. Wilson's portraits of each figure exude such beauty, strength, power, and, above all, dignity as to be nearly breathtaking. Each one gazes out at readers with a regal confidence that's sure to inspire them to gaze back. Wilson also provides lush landscapes and spot illustrations throughout. Pictures of historical artifacts are also included. Black leaders of any age will see themselves reflected in the amazing lives chronicled, many of whom may be new to readers. Non-Black readers will get a window into the marvelous history of a continent oft overlooked and relegated to a single narrative. Refreshingly free of generalizations, this impressively researched work was clearly a massive undertaking (as evidenced by the source notes), presenting figures from multiple parts of the continent in the truth of their cultural and historical richness. The result is empowering, necessary, and required reading for all. Game changing. (author's note, source notes, bibliography, further exploration, designer's note) (Nonfiction. 10-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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