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Arts

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (9 votes)

Released: 2000-08-28

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Microsoft Encarta Africana Third Edition [Old Version] by Microsoft

Software Details

Brand: MicrosoftMedia: CD-ROMHardware Platform: PCOperating System: Windows Me
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Description

Encarta Africana is an absorbing interactive exploration of the history of African culture. From early man's appearance 4 million years ago on the African continent to Sir Mix-A-Lot explaining the technology behind making a rap recording, this comprehensive CD-ROM tackles a massive amount of cultural history, fully utilizing its multimedia format to make the information educational, entertaining, and enlightening.

The program's introduction reflects the ambitious scope of Encarta Africana; the rich harmonies of Zulu choral music swell as a montage flashes across the screen: Nelson Mandela, art from 4000 B.C., and a raised fist are among the images. These pictures are superimposed over a patterned background that, upon closer inspection, is actually a diagram of a slave ship, jam-packed with human cargo.

The program itself is divided into nine sections: a library of black America; a history and music timeline; a civil rights chronology; a section entitled Africana on Camera, in which famous blacks discuss different issues; historic sites; an interactive map; a section called Africa to Americas that tracks how Africans were dispersed throughout the Americas; virtual tours; and Topic Treks, a feature that allows users to explore various topics in greater depth. Each of these sections (with the exception of the library) is vast, easy to explore, and filled with articles, photos, sounds, dates, and facts. Though the library doesn't serve up pictures or sounds, it does include the complete texts of 160 poems, essays, and novels about the experience of being of African descent in America.

Sound weaves itself throughout this multifaceted program. Progress along a historical timeline, and the soundtrack transitions from spirituals to ragtime to hip-hop as the people and achievements grow closer to present day. Visual vignettes are present throughout as well: the familiar forms of the pyramids, a small swatch of Asante kente cloth, a short film of Whoopi Goldberg discussing race. Encarta's developers adeptly exploit this medium, seamlessly blending sound, visuals, and written information to superbly capture the powerful story of African culture. --Anne Erickson

Platforms

Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows 95

More Details

Publisher: MicrosoftCategory: ArtsBinding: CD-ROMLanguage: English


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