More than four million years ago, humankind originated in Africa. Our appearance and the way our bodies function are evolutionary adaptations to the African environments. Since the beginning, Africans have struggled to survive against the difficult living conditions of the continent. While civilizations rose and fell around the world, most African communities remained rather small.
European powers began conquering and dividing the continent centuries ago, and the influence of the foreign nation exists to this day. The colonial period was brutal for Africa, and the legacy of its devastating past continues to trouble its people. It influenced all aspects of African society and culture.
Modern Africans are arguably the most diverse people in the world. More than 3,000 unique ethnic groups are recognized in Africa. The customs, languages, and cultural mores of people on the continent are quite different from country to country and from region to region.