February is Black History Month, and BET is airing a new TV mini-series, entitled The Book of Negroes. The Book of Negroes Historical Guide offers an educational background to the happenings in the mini-series. The BET mini-series is based on the novel of the same name that details a fictional account of a young African girl kidnapped by slave traders and brought to North America. The account is based on facts, and offers another perspective of the major events of the slave trade, and early African Americans.
The Book of Negroes Historical Guide isn’t meant to recount the story, or offer show recaps. Instead, it’s like a history textbook focused on African American history from 1705 to today. The app also excels at not getting bogged down in details like traditional textbooks, and instead presents a much more accessible read through. All of the information in the app is presented through a streamlined design allowing you to constantly swipe up to go through the pages of information. The words continuously flow on the page, and each chunk of text is accented with a photographic background based on the time period, and what the text is currently explaining.
The app makers have done a good job of making each page just about a paragraph long to emphasize one talking point on each page. The text is fleshed out with the inclusion of historical images, well made videos, and interactive maps. There are seven chapters included with each one focusing on specific time periods complete with major historical events that impacted the narrative of African American history. Everything is designed to provide background to the events depicted in The Book of Negroes, both the book and TV mini-series. The app can also be a stand-alone offering to simply provide a focused history lesson with an engaging set-up. The only thing missing is more in-depth explanations to connect historical events with the overarching theme of the slave trade, and its ramifications. There are some simplicities, when it would be worth explaining the history even more.
The Book of Negroes Historical Guide (Free, Universal) presents s a compelling topic with a well put together app that is well worth picking up.