Africa is bigger than Europe, China, India, Argentina, New Zealand, and the continental United States combined.
To many in the West, Africa has often seemed to be the Lost Continent—“lost” in two senses. The first would be lost from view: Many in the west simply don’t hear much or know much about the place and its past. The second would be “lost” in the sense of hopelessly lost: What people in the west do hear seems overwhelmingly negative, dominated by poverty, disease, disasters, violence, and tyranny.
This imagery itself has a long history in the West, as intellectuals and ordinary folk alike have dismissed Africa as the very repository of “savagery.” Passages from Hume, Hegel, and 20th-century historian Hugh Trevor-Roper illustrate this notion.
History is often described as a drama; if true, it is played out on a stage.