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Book Review: African Europeans

African Europeans is a very in depth look at people of African Descent living, working, and thriving in Europe prior to the modern age. Written by the renowned historian Olivette Otele, the book debunks many of the modern misconceptions about Africa, African Europeans, and Europe itself.

This is an incredibly complex and dense book that is filled with citations from other scholars as well as primary resources. This is not a book for the average reader. Despite having a background in history including post-graduate work, I found this book difficult to read. The language was incredibly scholarly and used terminology without providing context or definition. The author seemed to expect the reader to already have a foundation in history and historical thought and theory and so went straight into heavy stuff. It can be a bit much to take in.

That said, it’s super well researched. And it’s clear that the author knows her stuff. There’s tons of citations, footnotes, and this is a great resource for the budding historian, history major, or post grad. In a way, this book read much like a text book which is both a positive and a negative depending on your perspective. I also really appreciated how the author related back a lot of the historical information to the modern day.

It’s a good book. A complex book. But it’s going to be tough for the average reader to get into it. And it’s definitely not bedtime reading. ^_^ That said, it’s a book that should be in your library and it should be a go to resource for people interested in being true to the reality of Europe and not just the whitewashed version of it that many of us are often taught.

Four Stars

If this is your jam, you can get it here.

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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley

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