They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America

Africans arrived in America before Columbus – learn the facts!



They Came Before Columbus reveals a compelling dramatic and superbly detailed documentation of the presence and legacy of Africans in ancient America. Examining navigation and shipbuilding; cultural analogies between Native Americans and Africans; the transportation of plants animals and textiles between the continents; and the diaries journals and oral accounts of the explorers themselves Ivan Van Sertima builds a pyramid of evidence to support his claim of an African presence in the New World centuries before Columbus. Combining impressive scholarship with a novelist’s gift for storytelling Van Sertima re-creates some of the most powerful scenes of human history: the launching of the great ships of Mali in 1310 (two hundred master boats and two hundred supply boats) the sea expedition of the Mandingo king in 1311 and many others. In They Came Before Columbus we see clearly the unmistakable face and handprint of black Africans in pre-Columbian America and their overwhelming impact on the civilizations they encountered.” (publisher)

“They Came Before Columbus” is filled with black and white photographs drawings and maps verifying the presence of Africans in the “new world” prior to Columbus’ exploits.
If you teach African American history this is a must-have book for your required reading list. The author was a professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University.
Author – Ivan Van Sertima
336 pages
Ages – 16 years and up.


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