By Jim Haskins

Meet the best heroes of africa--from old to fashionable times"The books within the Black Stars sequence are the kinds of books that may have particularly 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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They moved north in what is known as the Great Trek. Reaching the territory controlled by Moshesh, they seized a large tract of land and founded the Orange Free State. The Orange River Boers, as they came to be called, established farms where they raised livestock and cultivated the land. Although the Boers had guns and cannons which Moshesh lacked, he did have clever horsemen and an impenetrable mountain fortification. He sent horsemen to raid the Boer farms and drive off their cattle, which he then captured to increase his own herds.

As a youth, Osei Tutu was a shield-bearer to Boa, an overlord of the Ashanti kings. He made the mistake of falling in love with Boa’s sister and fathering her child. As a result, Osei Tutu was forced to flee Boa’s territory. 34 35 In 1697, Osei Tutu succeeded his uncle as king. He established his seat of government at Coomassie and soon earned a reputation for fairness and for listening to his people. He dreamed of expanding his nation and enlisted his cousin Bautin, who was also a king, to join him in a campaign of conquest against their neighbors.

Dioxene, Behanzin’s largest palace, fell to the enemy. ✦ BEHANZIN HOSSU BOWELLE ✦ 57 After two neighboring peoples, the Egbas and the Gesus, joined the French in fighting Dahomey, Behanzin decided it was time to make peace. He sent three representatives to Colonel Dodds, offering the French five million francs’ worth of gold and free use of the port of Cotonou. Dodds responded that he was willing to make peace only if Behanzin gave up his capital city of Abomey. Behanzin refused and the war resumed.

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