Ivan Van Sertima published “They Came Before Columbus” to show that black people had travelled to the Americas well before Columbus claimed to have discovered America. He offers archaeological evidence in Mexico and some of Columbus’ writing that help to support his assertion.
The historian 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; and even though some refuse to accept his findings, this book offers some compelling information that would be interesting to anyone who loves history.