African Scholar/Historian Who Influenced Nas-Dr Ivan Van Sertima Passes


For those unfamiliar with Dr Ivan Van Sertima he penned the books They Came Before Columbus. He is also given dap by a number of rappers-most recently Nas who calimed in his song Sly Fox that Van Serimar changed his consciousness


Major African Scholar/Historian Passes-Dr Ivan Van Sertima

By Oscar Ramjeet–6-6–.html

Guyanese have excelled and made significant contributions throughout the world, including the Caribbean, and it is very unfortunate that our own Caribbean leaders are now “belittling” them.

Oscar Ramjeet is an attorney at law who practices extensively throughout the wider Caribbean. He is also a special correspondent for Caribbean Net News. Feedback to:

Several of them have made significant contributions to Barbados. I refer to Sir Kenneth Stoby who served as Chief Justice; Dr Richard Alsopp, distinguished educator, who wrote a Caribbean dictionary; Pat Thompson, outstanding economist and business entrepreneur; Olga Lope Seales; and Ken Corsbie in the cultural field, and dozens of others.

Guyanese have not only contributed to the Caribbean, but the entire world.

I just learned of the passing of Dr Ivan Van Sertima, a former professor of the University of Rutgers and an important son of the soil, who told the United Nations that Columbus did not in fact discover the Americas.

Van Sertima was a Guyanese-British historian, linguist and anthropologist. He was a noted for his Afrocentric theory of pre-Columbian contact between Africa and the Americas.

He went to London in 1959 for university. In addition to producing an array of creative writing, Van Sertima completed undergraduate studies in African languages and literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London in 1959, where he graduated with honours. During his studies, he became fluent in Swahili and Hungarian languages.

He worked for several years in Britain as a journalist, doing weekly broadcasts to the Caribbean and Africa. In doing field work in Africa, he compiled a dictionary of Swahili legal terms.

In 1970, he immigrated to the United States, where he entered Rudgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, for graduate work.

Van Sertima taught for 30 years at Rutgers and was Associate Professor of African Studies and Editor of the Journal of African civilization and author of numerous books. He has addressed topics in literature, linguistics, anthropology and history. He has written a number of books in which he argues that the Ancient Egyptians were black.

His 1976 book “They came Before Columbus” was a bestseller and achieved widespread fame for his claims of prehistoric African influences in Central and South America,

In 1987 he appeared before a United States Congressional Committee to challenge giving credit for the discovery of America to Christopher Columbus.

The Guyana Cultural Association New York Inc/Guyana Folk Festival broke the news of the passing of the world famed professor and we all extend our condolences to his widow, Jacqueline, who lives at Highland Park, in New Jersey.






7 comments on “African Scholar/Historian Who Influenced Nas-Dr Ivan Van Sertima Passes

  1. Dr. Van Sertima told the world what they do not not wish to believe. And that is the people of Kemet and Nubia were Black and traveled all over this planet and left their marks. The reason Dr. VAn Sertima never got his props is because the “truth” would have put the Black Man back in his natural order and they world would have to acknowledge its living a “white supremist” lie. The first people to walk the planet and language, create music, history, religion, the belief in one God, science, astrology, travel, politics,ect. were Black people. Dr. Van Sertima gave us the codes with pictures. Thank you, Sir.

  2. Amazing video. The Bering strait theory always seemed suspect to me and it is just a theory- although it is taught in schools as if it were a fact! New details about the real history of the Americas are still emerging. In 2003, scientists dated fossil footprints in Central Mexico back to 40,000 BCE. I imagine there many sites like these. Hopefully more scholars will step up in the future and explore this history.

  3. Just learning of the passing of a great human being, historian, and scholar that set the world straight on the truth of the discovery of America. I had the pleasure of meeting him with students from Shule Mandela Academy when he came to San Jose to speak on his research sometime during the early 1990s. The truths from “They came before Columbus” should be incorporated in every American history textbook and it should be mandatory that all students pass a course on African and African American History before graduating from high school as it is in the Philadelphia school system.

  4. Well Ivan Van Sertima was obviously an intelligent man, who recognised the problem of academic views on both Africa and South America.It surprises me that the obvious trade between these 2 continents is not acknowledged in official history.I saw a BBC documentary that was examining early dynastic (before 2500 bc) egyptian mummies and found traces of both cannabis, tobacco and cocaine in them.Cocaine only grew on the continent of South America, thus proving there must have been contact, and more likely – trade over the Atlantic Ocean.It also is funny how if you look at predynastic egypt you find many picture references to large boats, and infact they found a large boat buried next to the largest pyramid at Giza in Egypt.Despite the obvious fact that ancient Egyptians were navigating the oceans of the world before the other cultures and races had even learnt how to make a canoe, historians still offer the stupid explanation that the boats were “pretend ones that helped the dead pharoah reach the stars” This kind of explanation is embarassing to the historians and shows the insecurity they have inside of them.The truth is, that for the bulk of human history, the white skinned humans were the least developed, by a LONG way.While the cultures of China, Egypt, Mesopotamia & South America lasted thousands of years, Western white culture has only been around a few hundred and as such is still the least developed.Also, what is clear is that the greed, shortsightedness, and bad social & economic organization of the western culture is utterly incapable of creating a system that will last much longer than a few hundred years.And yet it views itself as the human races best achievment! Oh dear.Dont get me wrong, I am not racist against whites, I am infact white myself.

  5. I didn’t know of Dr.Van Sertima’s passing until mid 2010 its not amazing that the”so-called liberal media”
    didn’t report on his passing.We need more cultural positive articles on Nas & other performers who
    read books on elightenment of our people not only their materialistic possessions.

    Fortunately other scholars are carrying on the work of Dr.Van Sertima in researching African Diaspora
    history & culture…R.I.P. Dr.Ivan Van Sertima.

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