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In Search of Black History with Bonnie Greer

Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: History, World
5 out of 5 stars (408 ratings)

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Summary

In Search Of Black History with Bonnie Greer brings you face-to-face with the people you never knew existed. People whose stories tell us a different tale about who we all are. From the earliest glimmerings of modern humanity, up to the present day, Bonnie Greer uncovers the lives of people of African descent that don’t fit with the accepted history of Western Civilisation we’ve traditionally been taught. From saints, to philosophers, to warrior women and king’s heralds - these people’s lives have been lost, hidden and distorted down the centuries. We’ve lost the full richness and complexity of our shared histories - it’s time to fill in the gaps.

In this eight part series, playwright and former Trustee of the British Museum, Bonnie Greer, travels with us through the ages, meeting the academics and experts who are uncovering these stories at the cutting edge of historical research, and she brings their subjects’ lives to life - with an imaginative re-telling of their stories.

This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 8 episodes to your Library now.

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

Bonnie Greer - In Search Of Black History

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Black women have an untold history.

Loved listening to this and will re-listen many times. Mainly because of the starting point being the eras long before transatlantic slavery. Complex, women-led societies rivalled the Roman Empire - not well known. Many new facts and details, very relevant right to the very present day in terms of eugenics, fake news, criminalization of black people. Heartbreaking stories of people who have more than overcome, but still stifled by institutional racism. Cleverly linking in the debates happening about decolonisation, returning artefacts to their land of origin, the role of museums, libraries, and universities as collectors, managers and knowledge creators. Lots to grapple with, and a realisation, that we are just barely scratching the surface. Chronology very helpful for a beginner like me.

11 people found this helpful

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A Brilliant piece

This was edifying and really refreshing, the special guests were knowledgeable and brought forth so many new questions, new paradigms. This is a must listen!

10 people found this helpful

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Breathtaking storytelling. Everyone should listen

The beauty, horror and complexity of black history told with passion and kindness- this was mind blowing for me. Being white and coming from Norway (which has been culturally secluded throughout most of history), black history was mainly unfamiliar to me. This wonderful series introduces us to intriguing personalities from the early African kingdoms, extraordinarily talented people who fought for their rights or gained power in a world we mostly think of as white - from antiquity to the renaissance; and we meet both the rebels and the collaborators during the slave trade. It is a balanced account showing both the good and the bad, it is moving and beautifully told and shows that black history is not just about suppression and suffering, but also pride, courage, success and diversity.
I feel immensely proud of my fellow (wo-)men who fought for freedom and also humbled when I am reminded how easily deluded and cruel we humans can be. This series is a true journey and an eye opener. Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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an education for all

as a mixed race person, I've always taken a keen interest in learning more about my black heritage. this was a fresh look at history and introduced a number of new influential character which I will enjoy researching further.
this series is for people of all colours and backgrounds and well worth the time listening.

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Interesting topic slightly spoiled by the narrator

I like the premise that our history is more diverse than had been told from a white European (male) perspective; even though that is my own ethnic background. The narrator leaves much of the storytelling to the experts who are meticulous in sticking to the facts and what they can tell us. The narrator sometimes makes inferences from these facts which fit her narrative which imho weakens it. She also lays it on very thick, telling us repeatedly how amazing, exciting or unique certain findings are; instead of building a case and allowing the facts to speak for themselves. If you can get past this irritating habit, then the material and the rich history portrayed are less a ‘black’ history and more an addition of necessary colour to the existing blank palette. Understanding the rise, growth and spread of human civilisation is fascinating in itself and needs no other label. Listening to the facts and discoveries makes me curious to know more: and that is very human.

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very Dull

The lack of information available on the parts of history they have chosen to focus on means much of this is purely speculative. cheesy music and condescending narration.

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Found by fluke, I thought Bonnie, ‘you hit a home run’.

Not only that, I have more even questions to ask myself or think about race, gender and beyond. I think that’s a good thing.. a fantastic outcome really. With the current protests in US and UK, I’ve felt disconnected from the debate because there’s a lot of entrenched positions lots of talking at one another... not really acknowledging or listening. This though, well. I felt included... I felt welcome to listen and think about Black History, race, racism and where I fit in. That’s a lovely thing.

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Very informative, intelligently presented

This is a series for the general public/listener but does not feel dumbed-down. I learnt a lot I didn’t know before and I have been living in Africa for a long time and take interest in these issues.

There were some excellent interviews with people conducting deep and difficult research and I felt very grateful that there are people out these doing this work to bring to light these buried, complex and sometimes ambiguous stories.

Well done! I look forward to more programnes on similar themes from Audible.

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What an eye opener! Great!

Loved it. So much info.
Couldn't get enough. Well voiced, well paced.
Planning to listen again, now.

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Fascinating

Really enjoyed this. I studied anthropology as an undergraduate and so found the first episode especially interesting. Eye opening, enjoyable to listen to, and informative on black history and why it is so important.
I’m just about to listen to it for the second time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Harold Pringle
  • 24-06-20

A delightful awakening for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The slave revolts in the middle passage was particularly interesting because the comparison of the manifests showed that when there were more women on board the likelihood of revolt was higher. The roles of women in these revolts was also brushed aside by the slavers who told the stories.
The history of the 1000 year reign of Warrior Queens in Cush was also enlightening and the fact that Augustus Caesar's statue among other artifacts were never returned to Rome as described by Rome.
The narrator was clear and the music was appropriate.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Jaclyn L Brown
  • 26-06-20

Real History

Fascinating and inspiring look at real history, not white washed. I highly recommend for everyone, but especially people of African descent looking to see themselves in the history outside of slavery

18 people found this helpful

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  • Mary St John
  • 28-06-20

New curriculum

This series is fantastic!! It should’ve taught in all American high schools
It needs to be available in paperback as well.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Southern
  • 29-06-20

Thought-provoking content for researchers of all fields

As a scientist (though not a historian) I really appreciate that this series reminds listeners about the implicit biases which have been embedded into our education and research process. Learning this history is important, but so is remembering that we have to be active in working to counter the injustice, prejudice, and racism of the past that underlies what we do now. This series gives listeners both, and is also an enjoyable listening experience. Worth a listen even if you have studied Black History.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jen D.
  • 01-07-20

Great to hear another side of history!

I really enjoyed this and was glad to hear some untold stories. I think it's important to hear all sides of history because you get closer to the truth.
One thing that bothered me though was that Greer would take something unknown and assume it as fact. She would ask a question to a historian and they would say we don't know that, but it could be possible. Then she would restate it as fact. I know she was trying to paint a picture for the listeners, but you can't say something is fact when it is not known for sure.
Overall, it was a good listen and I learned a lot about slave stories that I didn't learn in high school. I think that schools should teach this part of history along with what is currently taught so students can get more than one perspective and piece together the history for themselves.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mervyn
  • 05-07-20

A crit on Racism.

We need this history, but let's leave events from past where they belong, in the past. the guilty are no longer here. Don't cause anger & ire against those not guilty. Teach with the knowledge you have. Only understanding can change the negative. Only those who see PEOPLE and not coloured can join with the understanding of being a person and not take on the attitude of the animals. Animals are wary of anything that doesn't resemble them. we haave brains and can discern .

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lilly
  • 02-07-20

Excellent podcast bringing amazing insight!

What an amazing journey! I highly recommend this podcast to ALL curious souls out there. To all who seek to learn the truth about a great nation of amazing people. Don't wait another moment, download this beautiful podcast and transform what you thought you knew. Loved it!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-07-20

I Blown Away

I never write reviews, but this book so moved me because it was so unexpected and rich in content. I truly will never judge a book by the cover again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Catalina
  • 02-07-20

Very Powerful and Educational

Although this series barely touches upon the history and contributions of African Americans in this country, it does give a rich and telling history of the African experience in other countries and through the ages.

Very Informative with a lot of scientific facts to back their affirmations.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Yas
  • 02-07-20

Well articulated

Bonnie Greer has put together a well articulated work on largely obscure part of Black History. This is a must hear for all who really care for the Black race.

2 people found this helpful