Ali Bilow

Independent Historian

Ali Bilow is an undergraduate student at the University of Washington where she studies history, anthropology, and African studies. She is currently a program intern at the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, a non-profit organization in Seattle which presents and produces African-American cultural programs. In the future she hopes to go on to graduate school to study African history.

Founding of Sierra Leone

Freetown, ca. 1820 Image Ownership: Public Domain Sierra Leone’s founding dates back to 1787 when several waves of freed black settlers originating from England, Nova Scotia, and Jamaica all arrived in the area. Utilizing some English government funding, The Committee for the Relief of the … Read MoreFounding of Sierra Leone

Tirailleurs Senegalais

Tirailleurs Senegalais in World War I France Image Ownership: Public Domain The Tirailleurs Senegalais were West African Colonial Army troops who fought for the French during World War I, World War II, and in numerous conquest, police, and colonial counterinsurgency operations. Despite the name, the … Read MoreTirailleurs Senegalais

Empire of Kanem-Bornu (c. 9th century-1900)

The Court at Kanem-Bornu, ca. 1700 Image Ownership: Public Domain The Kanem-Bornu Empire was a large African state which existed from the 9th century through the end of the 19th century and which spanned a region which today includes the modern-day countries of Niger, Chad, … Read MoreEmpire of Kanem-Bornu (c. 9th century-1900)