African Heroes (Black Stars) by Jim Haskins

By Jim Haskins

Meet the best heroes of africa--from old to fashionable times"The books within the Black Stars sequence are the categories of books that may have relatively captivated me as a kid."--Earl G. Graves, Black company magazineKofi AnnanAskia the GreatBambaataBehanzin Hossu BowelleStephen BikoCetewayoConstance Cummings-JohnImhotepKenneth KaundaJomo KenyattaKhamaSir Seretse KhamaPatrice LumumbaAlbert John LuthuliNelson MandelaMenelik IIMosheshMansa MusaKwame NkrumahJulius NyerereNzinghaPiankhyRabahHaile SelassieAlbertina SisuluOsei TutuYoussef I

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Gradually, he built up a powerful kingdom called Basuto. The Basuto were exceptionally fine horsemen, and scholars have compared their skill and courage to the Indians of North America. They needed those qualities in the middle 1830s when the Boers came. The Boers were the descendants of Dutch traders and explorers who had settled in southern Africa and founded Cape Colony at the tip of the continent. In 1836, chafing under British rule and especially 38 39 Britain’s restrictions on slavery and liberal policies toward native Africans, the Boers left Cape Colony.

Khama escaped. Not long afterward, Sekhomi had to flee as well, for Macheng tried to poison him. Under Macheng, who was not a good leader, Bechuanaland fell into chaos as various chiefs began to jockey with one another for power. Secheng, chief of the Bakwena, attacked and captured Macheng and ordered that he be shot. But Khama, who kept current on what was happening in the capital, interceded on his brother’s behalf. Instead of being killed, Macheng was banished from the tribe. He died shortly afterward.

Two hundred years later, another Moorish invasion nearly destroyed the kingdom. 26 ✦ HEROES OF ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL AFRICA ✦ PART T WO ✦ H EROES OF THE S TRUGGLE AGAINST E UROPEAN I NCURSION NZINGHA (1582–1663) ✦ Q ueen Nzingha of Matamba reigned for thirty-six years in seventeenth-century Angola. She built a strong army and fought several wars against the Portuguese. According to a Dutch ally, she enjoyed fighting, dressed like a man, and even in her old age was as nimble as a young person. Nzingha, who later became better known as Ann Zingha, was born into a royal family in Angola in southwest Africa.

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