The story of the African presence in early Asia is as
fascinating as it is obsure. It covers a
period of more than 500,000 years beginning
with the first Homo erectus migrations out of Africa.
Both Peking and Java Man were only regional varieties of these early Africoid hominids. The story continues with the first modern human
populations (Homo sapiens sapiens), the Diminutive Blacks who traveled and sojourned form
one corner of Asia to the other, beginning perhaps 90,000 years ago.
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 novelists 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.