Cover image for African biography
African biography
Knight, Virginia Curtin.
Publication Information:
Detroit : UXL, [1999]

Physical Description:
3 volumes : illustrations ; 24 cm
Presents biographical entries on seventy-five noteworthy Africans, historical and contemporary, in a variety of fields, from a wide range of sub-Saharan countries.
v. 1. A-Kim -- v. 2. Kru-Mus -- v. 3. Mut-Z.



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CT1920 .A39 1999 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CT1920 .A39 1999 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CT1920 .A39 1999 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CT1920 .A39 1999 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
CT1920 .A39 1999 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
CT1920 .A39 1999 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



This biographical resource provides 75 profiles of African leaders. Noteworthy writers, artists, politicians, religious leaders and many others are covered.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This attractive set meets the needs of middle-and high-school students for information about prominent Africans of the past and present. Its 75 biographees have been selected to be "representative of people by region, race, sex, and field." Entries are limited to sub-Saharan Africans and run 6 to 10 pages, containing essays that cover personal and professional accomplishments, lists of titles for further reading, photographs, and a locator map. Introductory material at the beginning of each volume includes a list of entries by nationality and field, an overview of African history, a glossary, and a time line of African history. A bibliography and set index are repeated at each volume's end. The indexing is thorough, and each bibliography includes periodicals as well as books. Students will easily locate specific individuals (arranged alphabetically from Achebe, Chinua, to Yaa Asantewa) or be able to find people of interest by browsing. Writing style is concise and clear, and words are often explained in context even when they are also in the glossary. Even troublesome or cruel situations and people are described. However, the work does have a few limitations. Admittedly it's difficult to decide whom to include. Despite the effort to be representative, most entries represent black male political figures, with a few women and whites (among them Frederik Willem de Klerk, Nadine Gordimer, and the Leakey family) included. Even so, Liberian Samuel Doe and Congolese Laurent Kabila are missing. Were sports figures specifically excluded? South African golfer Gary Player and Kenyan runners such as Kipchoge Keino are known worldwide. The editors acknowledge that women are underrepresented; only a dozen or so of the 75 people profiled here are women. Much of the information on contemporary individuals is already available in other sources, including Gale's series Contemporary Black Biography. Still, this print set is so attractive that some repetition may be overlooked. In addition, it is a good source for finding information on somewhat obscure individuals from the past--for example, Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford, a Sierra Leonean who was born in 1868 and worked to promote the education of African women; Mansa Musa, fourteenth-century emperor of the Mali kingdom; nineteenth-century explorer and slave trader Tippu Tib. Recommended for school and public libraries.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up‘Pieces of the recorded history of Africa are reflected in these accounts of prominent people from all regions of the continent. Although the majority of the 75 individuals are past and present government, political, and tribal leaders, artists, scientists, and religious heads are also included. Frequently studied figures such as Chinua Achebe, Nelson Mandela, and Shaka are covered but so are lesser known notables such as Wangari Maathai, a feminist environmentalist from Kenya, and Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian actor and activist. The book emphasizes diversity by showing both the positive and negative legacies of different kinds of leaders. The alphabetically arranged entries may be accessed by nationality or by field of endeavor, as well as through a subject index that appears in each volume along with a comprehensive bibliography. Each profile averages six pages long and includes a brief overview of the featured person, a map of Africa highlighting the country of origin, relevant black-and-white photos and reproductions, sidebars, and a list for further reading. A well-researched resource that is inviting and easy to use.‘Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.