TWO
ORIGINS

The Emergence of the Negro

It is now virtually certain, thanks to recent archaeological discoveries, that man originated in Africa. Some two million years ago, at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, manlike creatures (hominids) made the first steps to differentiate themselves from beasts by using stones, sticks, and bones as simple tools which they held in their hands. Somewhat later they began to shape these materials deliberately for useful purposes, and became tool-makers. As yet these creatures were not true men (homo sapiens), for although they were bipeds, with intelligence enough to take this revolutionary step and hands dexterous enough to contain the skill, their short stature, smaller brains, and different jaw and teeth patterns made them zoologically distinct from true man. Within a few hundred thousand years several types of tool-making hominids were scattered through- out Africa, and their sites have been found in Algeria and Morocco, in South Africa, and around Lake Chad on the borders of Nigeria.

The climate of Africa was significantly different in prehistoric times. Most of southern Ghana and Nigeria were covered, as today, with tropical forest which formed the western arms of the great Congo basin forest. The hominids avoided the forest because their tools were not sufficiently developed to tame it and because they had not yet discovered how to use fire. Living by the hunting of animals, they ranged the broad savannah which covered most of Africa, including the Sahara, which at that time was not desert and enjoyed reasonable rainfall.

Sometime after 1,000,000 B.C. a new and important refinement of toolmaking, produced by the attachment of larger sharpened stones

-33-

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Nigeria and Ghana
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Modern Nations In Historical Perspective i
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • One - The Land, the People, and the Politics Of Independence 1
  • Two - Origins 33
  • Three - The European Impact And the Slave Trade 71
  • Four - The Nineteenth Century 99
  • Five - The Colonial Period 141
  • Suggested Readings 165
  • Index 169
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