In his six-hour series, Africa's Great Civilizations, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing, and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world. Professor Gates travels the length and breadth of Africa to chronicle the continent's history from a firmly African perspective. His journey takes him from the city of Great Zimbabwe, to the pyramids of Meroe, and the spectacular rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia. The epic story that he tells is full of surprises and unexpected connections, helping us to appreciate the collective and individual genius of Africans who, across thousands of years, built civilizations and empires, fought wars, established great cities, furthered and spread learning, and created some of the most sublime art and architecture in human history.