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They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Journal of African Civilizations)

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Imported from USA


—The Atlantic Monthly

“An immensely impressive book . . . well-written and clear.”

“I can’t praise this book enough! I kept shaking my head over its power.”
—Ishmael Reed

“Comprehensive and convincing . . . a big boost to black cultural history.”
—Publishers Weekly

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From the Inside Flap

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 novelist’s 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

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