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Summary

We go back 300,000 years to meet our earliest human ancestors, and talk to the archaeologists uncovering the untold stories of modern human origins. Bonnie looks at the changing face of one of the earliest Europeans, and at how he is also changing our understanding of race.

©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.

What listeners say about Ep. 1: Bones Do Not Lie

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Phenomenal & So enlightening! Thank you Bonnie

Such an insightful podcast on the histories of those of us who make Black Britain as a collective. From the African perspective and those of the Caribbean roots too.

I now have a stronger appreciation for the British Museum.

1 person found this helpful

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Decent audiobook, elevated by the subject matter

This review covers all parts of the series.

Overall, it's a decently made series, but the production side of things leaves a bit to be desired. The narration seems a bit meandering and aimless at times, and the interviews could benefit from a bit of editing, both in terms of content and sound design. There are also numerous parts where we hear people walking down hallways, opening doors, and so on, without much else (if anything) happening. Overall, it comes across more like listening to a low-budget TV documentary at times.

My wife and I used to watch Ancient Aliens for laughs, which (among many other things) is an egregious offender of the trope where the narrator repeats the last thing said by an interviewee, often with a question mark at the end. I bring this up because Bonnie Greer has a tendency to do the same, often with excruciating slowness, lending even more weight to the "cheap TV documentary" feel of it all.

However, the subject matter is highly interesting, and there are some great stories to be found here, which does elevate the enjoyment of the series overall. Exploring the stories and history of black people from outside the perspective of colonialism is unfortunately still a rare thing these days, and I do feel like there could've been more quality content of that sort in this series, but what little there was, was still deeply intriguing and worthwhile.

It's definitely worth a listen, and despite my nagging nit-picks mentioned here, I did enjoy it quite a bit.

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History is written by the victorious

This is a deeply personal retelling of one woman’s search for identity through the ages. It is challenging and touching, and infuriating—especially tackling the Enlightenment period, which seems fitting given the era’s many contradictions. But above all, this story—her story, is necessary.

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Excellent

Obscure examples used to shine a light on the black experience through history, causing you to unlearn some of what you have been taught. Has reignited interest and forced me to revisit conceptions and misconceptions.

Excellent style, narration, excellent in every way!

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Very interesting

Highly educational look into some of the more obscure - because of racism - black people throughout history, highly recommended and excellently delivered

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Great listen

Insightful into African history, archaeology was a great place to start. I am able to follow the story.

Great narration. Clear and easy to follow.

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Amazing series

This series is amazing, telling the story of the black history we haven’t been taught from earliest times, through Black Tudor times and onwards. Interviews with academics and museum curators and others in the UK, US and Africa. So much interesting history and so much I didn’t know. Wow!

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Seemed a bit muddled

Well it WAS free so I suppose I can't complain. And it did have some interesting parts. But it all seemed a bit random, there was no overall storyline, and the narrator sometimes seemed to be arguing both ends against the middle.

Plus I'm afraid her American accent grated on me.

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Powerful and thoughtful

This series is powerful thoughtful and compelling. It is fascinating heartbreaking and inspirational. A wonderful series.

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Eye opening

This podcast has unearthed and opened up topics of conversation that should be common place. This should be distributed throughout the schooling systems. Very easy listening for myself as an adult but also my year 7 and year 9 children.

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  • DFK
  • 01-12-20

Fascinating material (all 8 ep); Greer disappoints

I will copy the same review for all 8 episodes, because the reviews are set up for each episode and not the whole series. The material is fascinating and put together very well. I learned a lot. The people that Greer spoke with are all impressive. But Greer herself is quite disappointing in her narrative style. Extremely slow, as if she thinks she is talking to idiots. Or maybe as if she thinks by speaking slowly she is emphasizing how amazing it all is. I don’t really get it, but I found it irritating. And you can’t speed it up, because all the interviewees who speak do so at a normal pace, so to switch back and forth would be too annoying. Greer also uses the word “simply” too much, as in something like “simply astounding”. And then her pronunciation of “foment” as “forment,” several times. (I think that was in Ep 7, but I’m not certain.) Errors like that annoy me, especially when from an educated, literary person. But don’t let those gripes deter you, because there is some really interesting and enlightening content.

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  • Cow Eyes
  • 15-07-20

What a lovely tone the narrator has!

I loved the music, the interviews and the wonderful stories! I didn’t want it to end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ashley Hedden
  • 19-03-21

Great Read

In Search of Black History with Bonnie Greer: Episode 1- Bones Do Not Lie was a good listen by Bonnie Greer. This episode goes back 300,000 years to meet the earliest human ancestors. Bonnie takes to archaeologists who uncover untold stories of modern human origins.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-11-20

A Life changing listen.

Thank You Bonnie for doing such an amazing job putting this all together. I listened to everyone of them; some more than once. You changed my entire perspective on black lives, the black polis, and the natural majesty of black woman throughout history. I more than loved it... Thank you so much for your hard work. - Mark Kennedy

Mark.Kennedy305@gmail.com

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  • TreasureHunter
  • 08-11-20

Articulation errors throughout

The author's resonating vocal quality reminded me of Maya Angelou's. She even spoke slowly and in a drawl like Ms. Angelou, but Ms. Greer's articulation errors were disturbing throughout the narration. As a speech-language pathologist, I'll give a couple of examples: 'with' became "wif"; 'truth' became "truf". I kept listening, thinking I was mistaken, but the /th/ errors were consistent throughout the narration, which made an intelligent woman sound incompetent as a speaker.

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  • DeAnna
  • 21-09-20

Enlightening and thought-provoking series

Sometimes the hardest thing to learn is just how much you don't know.

I briefly mentioned in a previous review how woefully limited my public K-12 school education was in regards to US history, so I was well-prepared to learn more about the history of black people in the US, specifically how they have aided or pioneered progress and shaped the country's history on a national scale than my high school was willing to disclose. In search of black history with Bonnie Greer covers much more than than that, beginning with prehistory, moving through pre-colonialism and post-colonialism into the 21st century.

The highlights for me were learning about Jacques Francis, a West African salvaged diver, and John Blanke, a royal court trumpeter, two men who lived in Tudor England, which showed me that continental migration predates colonialism, as well as learning about Pauli Murray, the badass Civil Rights activist that was cast aside for being too much of a maverick.

In Search of Black History is enlightening and thought-provoking. I found it well-produced and enjoyed both Bonnie Greer's narration (she both exuded a calming presence and, at times, demonstrated a laid back sense of humor) and her interactions with the historians she spoke with during the documentary.

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  • Jennifer Stahl
  • 29-08-20

Revealing scientifically and spiritually uplifting

The amount of historical and scientific resources fascinated me. I also loved the music and way in which it was directed and weaved. My fav part was how the scholars were not American origins so their lens was more worldly and not so ethnocentric. Americans think the world resolves around their arrival to this continent. Lol

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  • Sevans
  • 27-08-20

This is human history at it's finest

I was not sure what to expect when I purchased this series but I'm so glad that I did! There is so much that we have not been taught about our black brothers and sisters. I was amazed, intrigued, amused, and horrified throughout the series. It is a very worthwhile listen and even a re-listen or two. Thank you Bonnie for bringing these stories and information to my awareness.

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  • Birgit Miranda
  • 13-07-20

Painful narration

Bonnie Greer has a great voice and speaks great when not reading the episode. But it's frustrating listening to her slow and emphasis on every syllabus.
Some new ideas but a real stretch to get black genes into everybody... and what does that really matter? Seems like a forced legitimization...

I like the point about "out of Africa".

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  • ryan tanner
  • 08-07-20

Starting with a looted object

I’m just amazed this whole episode starts with the narrator admiring a stolen and looted object from the British Museum; one of the greatest collections of stolen art in the world. What a whitewash from the beginning