They Came Before Columbus By Ivan Van Sertima Summary

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Frank Petronzio Professor Vavlas History Ancient Medieval 10/21/14 Ivan van Sertima. They Came Before Columbus. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks. 2003. 284 Ancient History is something that we as humans are beginning to uncover more and more as time goes on due to much of the facts that we know today constantly being disputed. Our first real contact with our American history comes in the form of Christopher Columbus, which we know for a fact wasn’t the first group of people to inhabit the land that is America. The first group to do that was the Africans. This challenges the natural belief that the first Africans to set foot in America were in fact brought over as slaves. The Europeans have a distorted picture of a white man controlling…show more content…
After doing some research I found that the author, Ivan van Sertima, is one of the most intellectually sound authors and historians in history. His beliefs and fact based works have even made the highest of scholars walk the plank. The overall format of the book is very informative and still maintaining a sort of story-like ambience to it providing a quality learning experience. The other part of the book that was extremely well done was the addition of the diagrams and photos of things that existed during that time. The best part of the diagrams was the reveal of the ships that the Africans used to make and use for trade and travel. Showing that just doesn’t provide the written evidence it also shows you some tangible ideas that were used by the genius people that are Ancient American Africans. When the Spanish invaded America there was a multitude of evidence that the ancient Indians had contact with…show more content…
“The Indians of this Espanola (present day Haiti and Dominican Republic) said there had come to Espanola a black people who have the tops of their spears made of a metal which they called gua-nin, of which he [Columbus] had sent samples to the Sovereigns to have them assayed, when it was found that of 32 parts, 18 were of gold, 6 of silver and 8 of copper. The origin of the word guanin may be tracked down in the Mande languages of West Africa, through Mandigo, Kabunga, Toronka, Kankanka, Banbara, Mande and Vei. In Vei, we have the form of the word ka-ni which, transliterated into native phonetics, would give us gua-nin.” (p.13). I feel it embodies what Professor Ivan is trying to portray within this book and clearly illustrates that the facts are there. Everything from names of children to how they cooked, what they cooked, and ritualistic ideas were shared by Ancient

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