Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association Inc.

To support the scientific, technological and engineering component of a six-part public television series on the history of Africa, presented  by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

  • Amount $525,000
  • City Arlington, VA
  • Investigator Dalton Delan
  • Year 2016
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program Television

This grant provides partial support for production of a six-part history of the African continent to be hosted by the prominent academic Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research. Foundation funds will support segments devoted to documenting the scientific, technological, and engineering achievements of various African civilizations, including such events as the founding of the world's oldest university at Al-Karouine in Morocco in 859 AD; the advanced mathematics developed in Fes, Marakesh, and Timbuktu between the 12th and 17th centuries; and Abu Raihan al-Biruni's precise calculation of Earth's radius. The proposed documentary series not only contains interesting information about the historical development of science and technology, but also challenges widespread stereotypes of Africa as backward and undeveloped and the widespread misunderstanding of the pivotal role African civilizations have played in humanity’s scientific and cultural advance.

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