Ivan Van Sertima
They Came Before Columbus - Ivan Van Sertima
This controversial book by Ivan Van Sertima, the Guyanese historian, linguist, and anthropologist, claims that Africans had been to the New World centuries before Columbus arrived there in 1492. Citing—among other things—the huge Negroid-looking Olmec heads of Central Mexico and the similarities between the Aztec and Egyptian calendars and pyramid structures, Van Sertima pieces together a hidden history of pre-Columbian contact between Africans and Native Americans. He also puts forth the possibility that Columbus may have already known about a route to the Americas from his years in Africa as a trader in Guinea. The ideas in this book have been debated and discussed since its first publication in 1976; even those who choose not to believe Van Sertima’s theories should take his argument seriously. —Eugene Holley, Jr.