(Ivan Van Sertima) It is important that these evidences of the African presence in America before Columbus' journey are presented in a clear, academic manner, so that the vast number of students in Schools and Universities can master the facts.
My main point here is the last pre-Columbian trips that occurred between 1312 and 1492.
When I presented myself at the Smithsonian (National Museum for the Promotion and Publication of Knowledge) last November, my opponent said that the evidence I presented for Mandingo travel is as valid as the evidence of Nordic travel. . Leif Erickson passed for having made a stay in America long before Columbus, this is confirmed. People should be informed that the evidence also exists for Manding trips.
At least a dozen Europeans who came to this hemisphere in the time of Columbus reported seeing blacks among American Indians. Columbus himself said that when he was in Haiti, American Indians came to him and told him that a black-skinned people had come by big trading boats with gold-tipped metal spears. These spears were shipped for testing by metallurgists in Spain and found to be identical in their proportion of gold, silver, and copper alliance with forged spears in African Guinea.
Also, we find that the linguistic proof binds these spears with Africans and Americans before Columbus. The word used, for the spear was in America (guanin). Other words like (gana) kani and coana are identical variants of the word found in Africa. There are other forms of words like (nuhkuh) in Arabic. It is pronounced (nuhkay) in the Caribbean. There are more words that are related to the gold trade that are identical in Africa and America.
There is also botanical evidence. The Portuguese found a plant growing abundantly in West Africa up the coast of Guinea. Thinking this African they took it in 1462, 30 years before Columbus and planted it in the islands of Cape Verde. It was found to be an American plant (Gossypium hirsutum var punctatum). This is a very strong scientific proof that an American plant has entered Africa before Columbus. We also found African plants that came to America before Columbus.
In addition to botanical evidence, there is cartographic evidence (maps). There are two cards. One is known as the Piri Reis map, a very ancient map that has Cairo as a meridian for its longitude calculation. Nobody in Europe, 200 years after Columbus did not rake the longitude. However, this map showed latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates between the Atlantic African coast and the South American Atlantic coast. It shows the route of the Amazon River. It shows the route of the Atrata River in Colombia. In addition to this there is Andrea Biancho's map in 1448. It shows the exact coastline of Brazil and the exact distance between West Africa and Brazil.
There are currents in Africa that drive you irresistibly to South America, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. And we found Africans exactly where the currents cease.
Columbus' son, Fernando, reported in a book about his father that his father had told him he had seen black people in Honduras. In addition Peter Martyrise, the first American historian, reported seeing blacks in a region that is Panama.
He says those black people (probably sinking) were in the mountains at an earlier time. We also have reports by Rodrigo de Colmenares, who said that one of Balboa's captains had seen black people in the Gulf of San Miguel.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa, himself, saw blacks among the American Indians in 1513. When he asked where they came from, the natives said, "we do not know."
Lopes de Gomara reported that blacks they saw in this area were identical to black people in Guinea. We have reports from Father Ramon Pane, who reported that they come from black people in Cartagena, Colombia. A man named Alonzo Ponce reported that the natives of Campeche, on the Mexican coast, saw a landing of blacks and terrorized the natives before the Spanish era. Blacks were seen on the Honduran border, Nicaragua. There is also Captain Kerhallet who drew a colonization map on the South American coast and he says there were black communities who were not slaves. This gives you an idea of how many people have seen these things.
The Sithsonian found two African skeletons at Hull Bay in the US Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and found them in pre-Columbian strata or rock strata dating from 1250 AD, that is, more than 200 years before Columbus . They said it was African men in the 30 years and found a pre-Columbian ornament around the forearm of the skeleton.
Next to Saint John, I found a crescent-shaped dotted manuscript. It was deciphered by the Lybian Department of Antiquities and happened to be a Libyan manuscript of the Tifinag branch. It was used mainly in southern Libya by blacks (Tamahaq Berbers) It was also used by some people from medieval Mali.
Apart from these discoveries we found a lot of terracotta, clay sculptures. Von Wuternau found dozens of these terracotta both in South America and parts of Mexico. Those found in this period, about 200 years before Columbus, are remarkably African.
They are not only African in terms of facial features, they have hair, coloring. They are absolutely striking. They look like modern objects and there is no doubt about their ages and the strata of rocks in which they were found.
The opportunity to travel
In addition to that, there is the ability to travel. Many people think that Africans could not travel. But in reality, Thor Hyerdahl encouraged Africans near Lake Chad, a man called Abdallah Djibrine, to rebuild a papyrus reed boat that had been used by Africans before our era; this boat successfully crossed the Atlantic in 1969. He traveled from Safi in North Africa to Barbados. The rudder had broken so the boat came by itself, driven by the currents; there are three currents of Africa that would seize anything to America. Dr. Bombard, in 1952, made the trip in a pirogue, he crossed without crew, without veil, without food, without water. He did it right away in less time than Columbus. The reason is that there are two benefits for Africans. First, Africa is only 1500 miles from America from its shortest point; Europe is at 3000 miles, twice as far. Secondly, Europe does not have the advantage of African currents.
So you see, there is more than a dozen pieces of evidence showing the anteriority of the black presence in America.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima
They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America
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