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Dedication to Van Sertima

Dedication to Van Sertima

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This is a paper I wrote on the late Van Sertima a few years back. Finally am putting it out. Please check it out and share.
This is a paper I wrote on the late Van Sertima a few years back. Finally am putting it out. Please check it out and share.

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Published by: Round table discussions on Aug 11, 2011
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Dedication to Dr. Ivan Van Sertima by Peter Vasquez
A professor at Rutgers University, historian, linguist, and anthropologist; Dr. Ivan Van Sertima[1935-2009] who passed away on May 25, 2009 has made a tremendous contribution to the African andworld community at large. While writing this I wanted to show my gratitude and appreciation to VanSertima, because I felt his work left a positive impact on me wanting to add on to his work. Widelyknown for his African presence theories, his books They Came Before Columbus, African presence inearly Asia, Black Women in Antiquity, and many more has shown well documented evidence of Africancontact and their contributions between the old and new worlds before Columbus. Following in thefootsteps of respectable scholars who had the drive and determination to challenge our world view of what we once thought about history, scholars such as Leo Wiener (Africa and the discovery of America),Alexander Von Wuthenau (Unexpected faces in ancient America), Cheikh Anta Diop (African Origin of Civilization: myth or reality),R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz (the Temple of Man), J.A. Rogers (Sex and Race),Barry Fell (America BC, Saga America, Bronze Age America), R.A. Jairazbhoy (Rameses III: Father of Ancient America), and Robert Farris Thompson (Flash of the Spirit) to name a few. All who have wroteand also shown as Alexander Von Wuthenau called it reliable evidence of [the] black mans history inAncient America and the world. In light of all of this one will find that throughout the ancient worldthere is a long list of correspondences that are strikingly similar.There have been many books written about blacks in the Americas before Columbus, byEuropean Scholars alike starting with the 1920 publication of Professor Leo Wieners book Africa and theDiscovery of America. Who presented evidence that Africans had intimate relations with MexicanIndians, and provides with information that the trade in Mexico and the Religion of the Mayan and theAztec was heavily influenced by Africans. Now what most people dont realize that most of thephotographs and information in Van Sertimas book They Came before Columbus comes from LeoWiener (1862-1939) who was a historian, linguist, author and translator of Polish and Jewish origin fromHarvard university; and German art Historian Alexander Von Wuthenau.
 
Critics are always quick to pointfingers when someone comes and challenges our world view, so when it comes to Dr. Van Sertima andhis theories his critics have no choice but to look the other shoulder, because as much they love tocriticize about everything they fail to tell you the reader that Van Sertima wasnt the first to write aboutthis. As there are others who wrote before him, Van Sertima has definitely shaken the way we saw theancient world, and the contributions of its people to the so called modern world. Further evidence wasseen in Pietro Martire D Anghieras Decades written in the early sixteenth century in Spanish, who hadfirst hand contact with all of the explorers during the age of the European discovery of America.Van Sertimas critics attacked his claims with harsh and at many times immature statements likeignorant rubbish by British scholar Glyn Danie and others with the effort in claiming that Van Sertimaand Barry Fell, who he was also reviewing Gives us badly argued theories based on fantasies-Ivan VanSertima Wikipedia. With that being said anything that has to do with African origin theories being toomuch of a stretch to be credible, and the likes who found no evidence of a African influence in the newworld is a misnomer. This type of bigotry is seen in Richard A. Diel book The Olmecs: Americas firstcivilization page 63 when quoted writing Ivan Van Sertima and other Afrocentric writers [of who hedoesnt give names] have recently tried to prove that the Olmecs were migrants from Africa with the
 
2false claim that Matthew W. Sterling found the heads gazing eastwards towards their African homeland.In reality, Sterling clearly stated that all three faced north. For starters in note 9 of chapter 3 of his bookhe gives no reference other than the names and years of both respected works [Van Sertima 1976,Stirling 1943].In Stone Monuments of Southern Mexico page 17 Mathew W. Stirling writes about a colossalhead from Tres zapotes facing north when quoted This head is placed in front of the south mound of group 1, and faces north. The three Olmec colossal heads Van Sertima wrote about was from Laventa[see chapter 9 of his book pages 144-145]. Van Sertima writes in page 145 of They Came beforeColumbus They all wore headdresses that were foreign and distinctive domed helmets like those of ancient soldiers. They all faced east, staring into the Atlantic. Nowhere in Van Sertimas book does itsay Gazing eastwards to their African homeland. Clearly there is a psychosis going on here; not onlyRichard A. Diel makes a false claim, he didnt even quote the respected authors word for word. Give thepeople the facts where they are long overdue.In the Mystery of the Olmecs page 100 and page 105 David Hatcher Childress writes that [Ivan]Van Sertima actively promotes the diffusionist theory that ancient man crossed both the Atlantic andPacific in prolonged transoceanic contact. His books, African Presence in Early America, African Presencein Early Asia, and They Came Before Columbus are filled with articles and photos that show without adoubt that Negros have lived, literally all over the world, including the Americas. And he continues towrite Van Sertima is a respected member of the academic community, so the isolationists are forced torespond to his theories, but they essentially dismiss him in a few sentences, and never really counter hisclaims. Van Sertima is called an afrocentrist by his critics, who assert that he wrongly believes that allculture, including that of Mexico, stems from Africa. While this is not his message, it serves to trivializehis careful research.Figure 1: Photo of Ivan Van Sertima and front cover of his first book They Came Before Columbus
 
3Alexander Von Wuthenau best describes these ancient peoples in his book, Unexpected Faces inAncient America (1975). In page 57 of his book Von Wuthenau writes For the time being , let us go backto our pre-Columbian artists who certainly had no idea that they would be called upon, thousands of years later, as witnesses of ethnological happenings in the new world. We have, however, every reasonto put them on the historical witness stand because they are indeed good and reliable witnesses. Inpages 77-78 of Von Wuthenaus book; an important point was made as he wrote Melgars mind, notyet tainted by certain currents of modern (and perhaps not so modern) anthropology, reacted quitenormally to this newly found evidence of Black mans presence in ancient America. He [Melgar] furthermore cites a document of Bishop Francisco Nunez Vega (1691), who describes an ancient calendar foundin Chiapas that mentions seven negritos representing the seven planets, and in detail refers to thestrange Hebrew like naming of their twenty day calendar, in contrast to the version the Toltecs gave thesame twenty days. Over a hundred years ago Melgar in my opinion was exactly on the right tractconcerning the racial back ground of Americas ancient population.In Africa and the Discovery of America pages ix-x, Leo Wiener sites the words of J. Batalha-Reisfrom an article entitled The Supposed Discovery of South America before 1448, and the critical Methodsof the historians of Geographical Discovery from the Geographical Journal [London 1887, p.120], Thegreater probability therefore, in my opinion, in favor of the supposition that the north-east corner of South America had been seen on or before 1448, although this cannot be affirmed with the samehistorical certainty with which we can affirmed that, in 1492, Columbus landed on some of the AntillesAlmost all the historians of geographical discoveries consider it their absolute duty to arrive at a radicalconclusion in the study of problematical questions, answering with a yes what only deserves a perhaps,or, more, frequently, dismissing with a no what ought to be held as probable. Loven Sven writes inOrigins of Tainan Culture [p.662] But even archaeology has its limitations. It can only give us pastcultures to the extent of such elements as have been capable of preservation in the ground. In thisconnection, however, it may also give rise to conclusions that are essentially false.Claude Levi-Strauss who writes in his book Structural Anthropology page 208, On the one handit would seem that in the course of a myth anything is likely to happen.[] But on the other hand, thisapparent arbitrariness is belied by the astounding similarity between myths collected in widely differentregions. Therefore the problem: If the content of myth is contingent [i.e., arbitrary], how are we toexplain the fact that myths throughout the world are so similar? According to Levi-Strauss, Mythicalthought always progresses from the awareness of the oppositions toward their resolution (StructuralAnthropology page 226). In other words, Ancient world myths consist of 1. Elements that oppose orcontradict each other and 2. Other elements that mediate, or resolve, those oppositions, like Yin andYang.
In the Cave of the Jagua Arroyo writes in page 9 Linguistic studies also provide a meansof evaluating similarities of cultures. Given the premise that peoples who are relatedlinguistically are also related culturally
Even the similarities between two worlds in ancient times cant be over looked, and they are:1.
 
Jaguar/leopard2.
 
Double Crown of King tut and that of the Mayans, and a tablet in a private collection in Brazil.

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