Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
In this speech Du Bois provides an introduction to the history of Africa from antiquity to the contemporary anti-colonial movements. During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages Africa was regarded as one of the centers of civilization. It was only during the Renaissance that there was a shift toward eurocentrism to the extent that today it is possible to be considered a person of learning and yet to know nothing of Africa. Du Bois speaks on three points: the geography of Africa, the American slave trade, and the relation of the European labor movement to these facts. He places the American Civil War and the two World Wars in the context of African history. Then he updates his audience on current events in various European colonies and emerging African states including in French West Africa, British West Africa, Sudan, Congo, German and Portuguese colonies, and South Africa. Finally, he reflects on the need of African independence movements to be part of a united world labor movement.