What do we know about Africa — probably the most misunderstood continent in the world? Africa has experienced the peak of wealth and civilization, but has also known the tragedy and despair of slavery and subjugation by foreign powers. It has been coveted for its riches since the time of the pharaohs. For centuries it was the lure of gold, ivory and slaves that drew fortune-seekers. More recently the focus of attention has been on diamonds, oil and other valuable minerals. This study group will trace the rise and fall of kingdoms and empires, the spread of Christianity and Islam, and the impact of European colonization. It is only by understanding the history of Africa that we can make sense of the current economic and political climate and understand future prospects of the over 50 countries that now comprise this great continent. We will read and discuss The Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000 Year History of Wealth, Greed, and Endeavor by Martin Meredith (Public Affairs, 2014). We will encourage the use of Canvas but will also email discussion questions which may contain attachments and links to supplemental material.