Archive for West Africa

Black Olmecs Likely Were West Africans

By John J. White, III

Originally published in The Midwestern Epigraphic Journal Volume 16


Reporting and interest in ancient history is rather ethnocentric. The shortage of authors with Black African heritage leads to an understatement of Black African participation in Cultural Diffusion to the Americas. The leading contributor by far is Professor Ivan Van Sertima, who wrote the inspiring book They Came Before Columbus. He reports Mandinga Nubian and Egyptian travelers to ancient America in his many books.


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West Africans Traded in the Caribbean Basin Before Columbus According to Van Sertima

By, John J White, III

Originally Published in The Midwestern Epigraphic Society Newsletter Volume 25


Ivan Van Sertima and Barry Fell made major impacts on the ancient history establishment in 1976 when they published their famous books. The MES joined forces with Barry Fell in 1983 and soon acquired the eastern Kentucky Ogham sites as a primary interest. The question of looking into the findings of Ivan Van Sertima, Thor Heyerdahl, George Carter, Clyde Keeler, or many others could not be given a large share of the precious energy available. With the passing of Victor Moseley before the Kentucky work was finished, the MES was responsive only to new opportunities that were easily acquired. These were Joe Mahan (ISAC), Cyclone Covey, Ethel Stewart, Zena Halpern, and Russell Burrows (Burrows Cave) plus some notable locals like Hu McCulloch, Bill Conner, Victor Kachur, and Ken Zimmerman.


Mahan, Covey, and Stewart had interest in Asia (Native American origins) Fell was the expert on Polynesia and North Africa and there was little American interest in sub-Saharan Africa, except for Van Sertima and his impressive underlying Journal of African Civilizations. Fell gave some attention to Van Sertima, but as fortune would have it, there appeared more dividends to be reaped but responding to South African experts, such as Raymond Dart and Credo Mutwa. The reports of African faces on Burrows Cave artifacts (allegedly Carthaginian sailors) was the first MES contribution to African history. The current author has made additional small efforts in recent years.

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Muslims In The Americas Before Columbus

by Dr. Youssef Mrouch


by John White and Jim Leslie


Originally published in the MES Journal


This is a news summary of an internet article discovered by Jim Leslie.  Our previous knowledge of Muslim diffusion was limited to the translations of Arabic inscriptions described in the excellent book Saga America published by Barry Fell in 1980.  The MES also reported Ivan Van Sertima’s findings on West African visitors to the Caribbean in MEJ 20, 2006 and in MENL 25(2), 2008. Some claims are:


1. Al-Masudi (871-957 CE) wrote that Khashkhash Ibn Saced Ibn Aswad in 889 CE sailed west from Spain and returned with treasure.


2. Al-Guityya wrote that Ibn Farrukh in 999 CE sailed westward from the Canaries and named two islands in the Atlantic before returning.


3. Francisco Bobadilla of the Canary Islands put Columbus in chains and returned him to Spain in November 1500 CE.


4. Ferdinand Columbus wrote of his father seeing blacks in Honduras, and Dr. Mrouch states that a Muslim tribe known as the Almamy were living there at that time.


We also looked for other internet evidence on this subject and found the following:


5. Moin Ansari reviewed the book by Abdullah Hakim Quick, Before Columbus: Muslims in the Caribbean published on 9/24/2007.


6. The website Muslims in America claims that Columbus wrote he saw a mosque in Cuba on a mountain near Gibara.  Research shows that Martin Alonso Pinzon, captain of ship Pinta, and his brother Vincente Yanex Pinzon, captain of ship Nina, had Muslim heritage.

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