Ivan Gladstone Van Sertima (26 January 1935 – 25 May 2009) was a Guyanese-born associate professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University.
This historical pioneer was best known for his Olmec alternative origin speculations; contrary to white supremacy teachings, a brand of pre-Columbus contact, which he explains in his book They Came Before Columbus (1976). While Sertima’s Olmec theory has “spread widely around the world, both lay and scholarly”, it is mostly ignored in Meso-americanist scholarship, and dismissed as Afrocentric pseudohistory.
“You can not make yourself whole again by brooding one hundred percent of the time on the darkness of the world. We are the light of the world.”