Published Date

May 1, 2004

Resource Type

For the Classroom


African American, Cultural, Diplomatic/International, Military, Political, Slavery, Social, Women, Gender, & Sexuality

AHA Topics

K–12 Education, Teaching & Learning, Undergraduate Education



By David Trask
Guilford Technical Community College

This unit creates the opportunity to analyze a single event in Nigerian history for the purpose of learning more about colonial and post-colonial Africa, the West and the world. This is achieved by starting with a single event and then expanding our inquiry to answer the questions raised by the attempt to grasp the meanings of this event of the late 1960s by moving further and further into the background of the era.

This unit presents a field of historical sources to enable students to examine the dynamic interactions which have helped shape post-colonial Africa by seeing how these dynamics worked out within Nigeria in the events associated with the Biafran secessionist movement of 1966-1970. At the same time this information gives students the opportunity to learn more about the meaning and impact of European ideas, interests and actions outside of Europe. Students are presented with historical sources arranged by topic and era; this information is accompanied by some questions and suggestions for dealing with these sources. In addition students will be asked to develop their own questions in order to mine these materials more fully and to determine relationships among the different readings. Although students could work through this material as individuals, one goal of this unit is to create the possibility for students to work collaboratively in teams.