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Editor's CTBF Choice (1 of 2): When We Ruled

Robin WalkerQuite a few writers and publishers visited the BOOK SA stand during the Cape Town Book Fair, hoping to squeeze an item of theirs into our very congested (but also fast-moving) queue of posts.

Two people went above and beyond the call of duty, however, and though we couldn’t manage to get their items up during the fair, we present them today as “editor’s choices”.

The first editor’s choice is When We Ruled by Robin Walker (pictured), from publisher Patrick Vernon of Every Generation Media, an energetic Briton who also runs the 100 Black Screen Icons and 100 Great Black Britons projects.

Every Generation is a “social enterprise company with a focus on creating profits to reinvest in the promotion, distribution and development of African Caribbean heritage and culture”, according to Vernon, and When We Ruled is one of its biggest profit creating products, having already sold 3 000 copies in hardback.

Here’s part of the book’s blurb:

When We RuledWritten by black British academic Robin Walker, When We Ruled brings together over two hundred years of research on early history and heritage of Black people, and is the first proper study to advance the theories around African civilisation and heritage. The book also provides a context and antidote on the transatlantic slave trade.

The landmark 700-page tome, explodes various myths and theories surrounding African civilisations, and challenges widely held views on the continent’s historical impact by offering fresh perspectives, theories and methodology, putting the history in it rightful context.

And here’s a quote from a recent review by New African Magazine:

Robin Walker’s wonderful new book When We Ruled concentrates the minds of people of African descent everywhere – on the mother continent and in the Diaspora – on the golden age of Africa. The book disproves the firmly entrenched notion that ‘Africa has no history’ or that African history started when the Europeans arrived on our shores in the 15th century. What were our ancestors doing before then? Sleeping perhaps?

Overheard: “It’s got to be Sydney Poitier. I’m old-school.”
-Me (Ben Williams), speaking to Patrick Vernon about the top “100 Black Screen Icons”.