Pre-Columbian African Presence in the Americas
By: Franz J. T. Lee
According to official history, Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. Very few of us here in the Americas questioned this historic "fact". We were happy that we belong to the "New World", that we were "discovered" at all, and that we got our holiday, the "Day of the Race".
All over America our oligarchic butchers have put up statues of the great Columbus, of the secret agent of early Italian capital, and if someone concretely tries to topple this farce, across America the loony bin is awaiting one. We cannot be against the ALCA and defend statues of a hoax, of Christopher Columbus, at the same time. Like in the case of brutal, torturing bull-fighting, a cultural revolution has to resolve this obvious contradiction within the Bolivarian Revolution.
In reality, Columbus did not discover anything whatsoever, yet by means of education, socialization and dissemination of untruths by the international mass media, around him was built up the greatest capitalist, colonial and imperialist myth of all times, a big lie much greater than the fantastic tales related to the "Reichtagsbrand", "Pearl Harbor", the "Blowing up of the Twin Towers" and to "Chavez the Great Dictator".
While the Europeans practically were still living on trees, centuries before Columbus ever was born, or had stepped into any ship ... on expeditions, on board of huge fleets ... African sailors, scientists and philosophers have gone to America, have inter-changed and ex-changed experiences, ideas and cultures, have traded and lived among the indigenous peoples there; as such they have influenced the American indigenous modus vivendi in one way or the other, or vice versa. And yet, across modern history there is no people on earth who was (and still is) more exploited, dominated, discriminated humiliated and massacred like the African people.
African presence in the Americas dates as far back as "pre-historic" America, that is, as far back as between 40000 BC and 6000 BC. The relatively "modern" Egyptian "Nubian-Kemmiu peoples arrived in the Americas around 1200 BC". (See Cover Story of the NEW AFRICAN (London), "They came before Columbus", January 2001, No. 392, pages 16-20.)
Around 1307 AD ... that is, long before Columbus ... the famous Mandinga peoples from West Africa had entered into an ALBA, have traded with the American indigenous peoples.
The above ... unknown to a large part of the world population for centuries already, due to metropolitan racist and arrogant mind and thought control mechanisms ... is not world news. In fact, a well researched book, "They Came Before Columbus", written by Ivan van Sertima, appeared in 1977 already; in the world press, it practically passed unnoticed. Of course, how could the slave drivers and masters of yore explain to the world that they did not enslave and dehumanize black African "savages", "monkeys" and stupid "baboons" but highly educated and cultured, non-violent human beings.
It is horrible to see how many lies and hoaxes were drilled in our innocent brains!
The African-Caribbean writer, Richard B. Moore, in his book, "The Significance of African History", explains how European "erudite" scholars have falsified African history, in order to inculcate a slave mentality and inferiority complexes that, like in the case of Christian religion, all along history have served European exploitative and dominating class and capitalist interests.
There exists definite historic evidence that between 1307 and 1312 AD, West African Mandinga fleets have sailed to America and later have also returned to Africa. In 1324 AD, the famous Mandinga emperor of Mali, Mansa Kankan Musa I on his way to Mecca, stopped over at Cairo, and was interviewed by the eminent 14th century Islamic historian, Al-Umars, to whom the emperor had related his rise to "power" and that "his predecessors had launched two expeditions from West Africa to discover the limits of the Atlantic Ocean". (New African, ibid.)
Al-Umars wrote: "I asked the Sultan Musa how it was that power came into his hands. ... 'We are from a house that transmits power by heritage ... the ruler who preceded me would not believe that it was impossible to discover the limits of the neighboring sea. He wanted to find out and persisted in his plans. He had about 200 ships equipped and filled them with men, and the same number of ships filled with gold, water and supplies in sufficient quantities to last for years.
He told those who commanded them, return only when you have reached the extremity of the ocean or when you have exhausted your food and water. They went away ... Finally, a sole ship reappeared, We asked the captain about their adventure.'"
He told the Sultan about their long voyage and how finally they entered something like a river with violent currents. He was last in the row, and saw how the other ships disappeared. He returned, to tell his story. However, "the emperor did not want to believe him, He equipped about 2000 more vessels and conferred power on me and left with his companion on the ocean. This was the last time I saw him and the others. ..."
How much truth is in this story, we will never really know for certain, but it surely shows typical African philosophic curiosity, human adventure into the unknown and scientific audacity. There is more evidence that his successor, Musa II, sent out another expedition that probably reached Arilles that borders on the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
However, two hundred years after the visit of Musa I of Mecca, Christopher Columbus in his "Journals" personally testified about the presence of the Mandinga expeditions in the Americas.
"He said that West African merchant fleets periodically left the Guinea Coast and sailed to Middle America with gold and other merchandise and introduced the art of alloying gold." (ibid.)
How is it possible that "erudite" European and American scholars and students did not see and read the following written and published data in his "Journals"?
"The Indians brought handkerchiefs of cotton, very symmetrically woven and worked in colors like those brought from Guinea, from the rivers of Sierra Leone and of no difference ... The Mandinga traded gold and cloth called 'almaizar' ... (ibid.)
Hence, even Christopher Columbus himself testified that the Mandinga had arrived in America long before him. We need not tarry much longer in revealing this trans-historic hoax. In the meantime, many other proofs of "pre-Columbian" African presence in the Americas have surfaced.
Already the gospels of Maria Magdalena and of Judas are waking us up out of centuries of colonial and imperialist slumber. Let us hope that one of the many ancient messiahs will jerk us out of obscurantist monotheistic religion, and catapult us into emancipatory Eros and creativity of the Third Millennium.
What is significant is to demonstrate the deep authentic revolutionary roots of America and the Caribbean in Africa, and vice versa. The Bolivarian Revolution has very much to learn from Africa; not only voodoo or obeah, but human reaching out for the oceans, for the stars. Also, Africa urgently must declare itself in solidarity with Chavez, with Venezuela, with the Bolivarian Revolution.
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