For more than a thousand years, from A.D. 500 to 1700, the medieval kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay grew rich on the gold, salt, and slave trade that stretched across Africa. Scraping away hundreds of years of ignorance, prejudice, and mythology, award-winnnig authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack reveal the glory of these forgotten empires while inviting us to share in the inspiring process of historical recovery that is taking place today.
“An ambitious introductory survey. . . . This will be extremely useful as a springboard to books and articles that offer more depth but are less accessible to students.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“The history of medieval Africa, long ignored and distorted, is here given full attention. The McKissacks are careful to distinguish what is known from what is surmised; they draw on the oral tradition, eyewitness accounts, and contemporary scholarship; and chapter source notes discuss various conflicting views of events.” —Booklist
“Here is an introduction to the medieval history of West Africa, where the great trading cities of Gao, Timbuktu and Jenne (now Djenné) were located, from roughly A.D. 500 to 1700. The text is helpfully illustrated with both modern and historical maps and documents.” —The New York Times