Exploring Human Origins: African Contributions to Human Civilization

Exploring Human Origins: African Contributions to Human Civilization


Friday, July 26, 2024    
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Broward County Main Library
100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33301

Event Type

In a storytelling experience Dr. Martha Bireda will illustrate the great contributions past and present African empires have introduced to human civilizations.

Program agenda:

I. Introduction: I am a descendant of ancestors enslaved in the United States who came from West Central Africa, where the Ghanaian, Mali, and Songhai Empires existed. We are an oral culture and as such our history is passed through storytelling. Tonight, I will tell you stories of the history and knowledge passed generation to generation by storytellers as myself an elder.

II. What did Africans contribute to humanity? Our history:

First the tangible contributions of fire and iron that made it possible for humans to survive and ultimately to thrive. From ancient Africa  knowledge related to 1) agriculture 2) architecture 3)technology4)art 5) music 6) science 7) medicine and 8) foodways.

III. What is the African concept of what it means to be human? Connection to family and community make one “human”;  to practice “ Ubuntu” , “ I am because we are.”

A short focus on  concepts of personhood, family, and community as related to being human.

IV. Conclusion: Recommend an embrace of African concept of being human to heal divisions in our current society.  Thoughts from participants.

Exploring Human Origins: Promoting a National Conversation on Human Evolution is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s (NMNH) Human Origins Program.

Click here for more information.