One of my favourite books related to culture is World’s Greatest Men of Colour by J.A. Rogers. It is a series of books which tells the story of multiple legendary figures who lived across Africa and Asia.
If you want to stay for the history lesson, here are three influential people from the book and a summary of their stories:
Cleopatra: Introducing Rome to Wealth
We all know the name Cleopatra the queen of Egypt. Egypt was not the only place she left a mark.
In Rome, Julius Caesar left his wife to be with Cleopatra, resulting in the Egyptian queen moving from her home town to Rome. She brought with her hundreds of scientists, artists, architects, astronomers and financial experts. Rome had never seen so much wealth and this raised the standard of roman culture. A culture which still holds so much value to us today.
Abraha: Planting Christianity
Abraha was the emperor of Ethiopia. He made the decision to change the religion of his country from paganism to Christianity. A decision which later on spread the religion across the world.
He was tutored by a man named Frumentius who introduced him to Christianity. He became a believe and built the first temple which was center for Christian pilgrimage ( sadly it was destroyed 1200 years later, so it is no longer physically present).
He planted a seed of Christianity in Mecca, which he had captured after defeating the Arabians after Rome failed to do so.
It is said from there Christianity grew and would not have spread across the western world if it had not been for him.
Ann Zingha: Protecting her People from European Influence
Amazon Queen of Matamba, West Africa.
She fought against the Portuguese as they were establishing trade settlements on the Africa coast, using an army of women warriors which she trained. They won many battles and her presence caused fear to her opponents, she lost in the long run as the oppositions used advanced weapons.
During her reign she continuously refused an alliance with the Portuguese, as ab act of resistance to the movement. She formed alliances with other foreign powers to free Angola of European influence.
Unfortunately her death opened the door to the slave trade in her country, however her influence and legacy kept her people fighting.
It’s a must have on all book shelves. It summaries the story of figures in approximately five pages. The author tells their stories like a tale rather than a bunch of historical facts. Before this book I was stuck in black history at slavery, but that is such a small percentage of it. Africa is a golden land (plus it’s literally the land of gold), and that is something we should never forget.
Lets be glad our ancestors fought the worst, and educate ourselves on the amazing things which still influence the world today.