He was best known for his Olmec alternative origin speculations , a brand of pre-Columbian contact theory , which he proposed in his book They Came Before Columbus While his Olmec theory has "spread widely in African American community, both lay and scholarly", it was mostly ignored in Mesoamericanist scholarship, and dismissed as Afrocentric pseudoarchaeology [2] and pseudohistory to the effect of "robbing native American cultures". Van Sertima was born in Kitty Village, near Georgetown , in what was then the colony of British Guiana present-day Guyana ; he retained his British citizenship throughout his life. He completed primary and secondary school in Guyana, and started writing poetry. In addition to his creative writing, Van Sertima completed his undergraduate studies in African languages and literature at SOAS in , where he graduated with honours. During the s, he worked for several years in Great Britain as a journalist, doing weekly broadcasts to the Caribbean and Africa.

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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.

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. I kept shaking my head over its power. Read An Excerpt. Category: History. Add to Cart. Also available from:. Paperback —. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads?

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Ivan Van Sertima

Guyanese born Dr. Ivan Van Sertima January 26, to May 25, is a literary critic, linguist, anthropologist, and writer. Holte Prize for excellence in literature and the humanities relating to the cultural heritage of Africa. In They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America , which was reprinted over 20 times, Van Sertima defends this highly controversial thesis before the Smithsonian, which has recently published his address.


They Came Before Columbus

Skip to main content Ivan Van Sertima. Something went wrong. Please try your request again later. Ivan Van Sertima's pioneering work in linguistics and anthropology has appeared in numerous scholarly journals. Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.


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