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A Thousand Years

A Thousand Years

(p.369) Epilogue A Thousand Years
African Dominion
Michael A. Gomez
Princeton University Press

This epilogue discusses how, some four hundred years after its fall, the world was reminded of imperial Songhay's former glory when, in early January of 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawād—or the MNLA—attacked the towns of Menaka and Aguelhok, leading to the collapse of the national army in northern Mali. However, the twenty-first century was not the first instance in which the modern world reflected on West African anterior history, though prior occasions were largely artistic in nature. In any case, through both real-world events and artistic creativity, enactments of West Africa's medieval past have filtered into contemporary consciousness. Even so, in turning from the popular to the academic, histories purporting to convey a sense of global development since antiquity continue to ignore Africa's contributions, not merely as the presumed site of human origins, but as a full participant in its cultural, technological, and political innovations. The epilogue then summarizes the full trajectory of West African history examined in the previous chapters.

Keywords:   imperial Songhay, Mali, West African history, West Africa, medieval West Africa, global development, antiquity, political innovations, cultural innovations

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