Early America Revisited is a vigorous defense and amplification of Ivan Van Sertima’s classic work, They Came Before Columbus. The book makes a carefully balanced case for an African presence in America before Columbus’ voyages. At the same time, the work in no way denies the importance of the Columbus voyages for opening up the New World to Europe, and hence changing the economic and political map of the world for all time. Van Sertima’s critical cutting edge is that there is an anthropological and ethnographic dimension to the process of discovery, one in which black Africans of non-European origins played a central role. He marshals literary and pictorial evidence and shows its authenticity to be beyond question. The impact of these early discoveries is of far more than historical interest. They serve as a basis to examine anew the study of culture contacts between civilizations, and in so doing, offer a serious base to a multifaceted re-examination of earlier hypotheses of influences in both directions.

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