They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America was originally published in 1976 by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, receiving much criticism and controversy from the scholars of the day. The book offers detailed documentation of the presence of Africans in ancient America that precedes the time of Christopher Columbus by thousands of years. You may now have a better idea of why his work received a great deal of criticism at the time of its release, because it is still taught in schools today, that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America, an assertion which Dr. Sertima proves to be false through his presentation of sound historical, linguistic and scientific research.
Dr. Sertima documents not just one incidence of African contact with the America’s prior to Columbus, but several. Listing West Africans, the Olmecs and even Egyptians to name a few, as having left their footprint and cultural contributions upon American shores thousands of years prior to any European contact.
There is also documentation that there was open trade between the Americas and Africa, with Dr. Sertima citing evidence of African products, such as plants and textiles being found in the Americas and vice-versa, he notes many Native American products found in Africa, before there was ever supposed to be any.
What This Book Meant To Me
This was a ground-breaking book for me to read, as I was taught in school that the only inhabitants of the Americas were savages when “discovered” by Christopher Columbus and his crew. To read detailed accounts that not only was this NOT true, that the indigenous peoples of this country were quite civilized with their own forms of government, commerce, architecture and arts, but that there were also African people that had set up their own communities here, at the same time, and many times preceding those of other cultures, was a shock to me. My thought was “You mean to tell me that there were black people in America that did not come here on a slave boat?” This thought peaked my curiosity so much that I had to learn more.
“…I was taught in school that the only inhabitants of the Americas were savages when “discovered” by Christopher Columbus and his crew.”
Reading Dr. Sertima’s book marked a turning point in my life, when I began to discover that many things that I was taught in school were at best highly inaccurate and at worst outright lies. I discovered a deliberate attempt to erase the history of indigenous people throughout the world but more specifically the history of the peoples descended from Africa, on the part of the European conquerors of this land.
This eye-opening book made me hungry for more knowledge about the real history of my people. I was lead to read many other great books and research by the likes of Dr. John Henricke Clark, Dr. Joseph Ben Yochannan and the venerable J.A Rogers, that has forever changed my view of the history of Africa and her children.
Who Should Read It?
Young people will find this a good book to read for school reports on black history that almost never get touched on in schools. There are many small, easy to read, well documented and self contained chapters in the book, that could be mined for information and research for their projects. Adults will be astounded as they discover the depth of the conspiracy by academia to keep them ignorant of their true story. But far more importantly, I think, is that the information in this book opens a door into history that our people are taught does not even exist. And that my dear readers, is the door to greatness!
Like the review? Buy the book!
Click the link below to be taken directly to Amazon.com where you can buy this and other great books about African World History.
The time is now to go back and claim your true history and knowledge – to use it to change your world for the better today and to dream of a better tomorrow. – Spirit of Sankofa