African Society
In the non-African world, there is not much familiarity with the emergence and development of early African societies, except for some recognition of a few words such as "Bantu" or "Swahili."  This is partly due to the result of a lack of surviving documentation and materials; partly the lack of serious investigation by scholars; and partly racial bias.  The best documented of the early African societies are the early kingdoms of Northeastern Africa (Axum, Nubia, Kush and Meroë).  This is a result of these societies' contact with Egypt and the Red Sea trading routes.  Scholars do not know much conclusively about most of sub-Saharan Africa before the first or second century ce.  Please feel free to review my lecture notes (rtf file) on early African societies.  You may send me any suggested corrections or additions.
As I just wrote, there still remain very large gaps in the historical record about early African society, due largely to the scarcity of surviving written records and the general lack of attention devoted to Africa by Western scholars. In addition, climactic conditions on the continent, with the exception of the desert regions, have not been particularly conducive to the preservation of architectural remains. The lack of attention has also been complicated by the enormous diversity of the African experience and the relatively smaller sizes of African kingdoms and empires.
Some recommended online lectures and websites:

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