By Legrand H. Clegg II
NATIONWIDE — Christopher Columbus did not discover America! After years of celebrating Columbus Day each October and teaching our children that this land was discovered by the European explorer, this year protesters across the country have pulled down his statues and denounced his image. At long last, they are debunking the Columbus myth.
Lost in all of this activity is the fact that Black people from Africa actually reached America thousands of years before 1492; and it is long past time for this to be acknowledged and celebrated in the Black community, and to be included in the American school curriculum.
The evidence of an ancient and medieval Black presence in the New World is vast and increasing every year. So why is the public unaware of such revolutionary information? In his recent book Disloyal – A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump, President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen reveals that the President is a staunch racist who disrespects Black people and speaks of African nations as “Shithole countries.” This view is widely held by White America largely because the fields of science, education, entertainment, politics, and the media have consistently degraded and stereotyped Black people and suppressed, distorted, and ignored African history and culture. This must stop now!
The idea that Black people sailed to the Americas in ancient and medieval times is not new.
After colossal Negroid stone heads were first excavated in the 1860s in Mexico, several Latin American scholars began to speculate that Africans sailed to the New World thousands of years ago.
During the 1920s, historian Leo Weiner wrote a three-volume work, Africa and the Discovery of America on the presence of Africans in the New World before Columbus. By the early 1970s, archaeologist Alexander von Wuthenau wrote two significant volumes, Unexpected Faces in Ancient America and The Art of Terracotta Pottery in Pre-Columbian Central and South America. These books reveal his collection of thousands of Negroid figurines unearthed from ancient sites in Mexico, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru, which comprise his vast collection in the Diego Rivera Museum of Mexico City.
Other scholars who have conducted extensive research on this subject include Ivan Van Sertima, author of They Came Before Columbus; Clyde Winters, Runoko Rashidi, Paul A. Barton, David H. Childress and Anu M’Bantu. David Imhotep, author of The First Americans Were Africans (Expanded and Revised), has made a unique contribution to this field.
Unlike his predecessors, Dr. Imhotep does not claim that Africans simply sailed to the Americas before Columbus and influenced the Native Americans who resided in the New World. He states, instead, that the Native Americans themselves were Black Africans, who first reached the New World at least 56,000 years ago. Thousands of years later these people were invaded by Mongolians from Asia who conquered, intermingled with and exterminated many of the indigenous Blacks. The mixture of these two groups resulted in the red Indians that we are all familiar with today.
Black people laid the foundation of civilization in the Americas. Among the earliest and most pervasive evidence of their presence are the strange structures called “Native American Mounds.” Built by Black Africans, these structures still survive in 41 states in America. One such mound, the Cahokio of Illinois, is almost as large as the great pyramids of Egypt.
During the second millennium B.C. other Africans reached the New World and settled in Mexico. They introduced Old World civilization to the inhabitants of the land. In the holy city of La Venta, four colossal stone heads with Negroid features have been discovered on a ceremonial platform featuring a miniature step pyramid and a conical pyramid — the earliest of such monuments to appear in the Americas. The structures were undoubtedly built by the Olmecs, a name given to the Mother Culture of what is called Mesoamerica.
According to Dr. Imhotep, the African Olmecs introduced a calendar, writing, pyramid and tomb construction, mummification, as well as certain political systems and religious traditions to the New World. As historian J. A. Villacorta has written: “Any way you view it, Mexican civilization had its origin in Africa.”
During this year of racial reckoning, largely triggered by the courageous leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, this nation must confront the fact that Black History also matters. America must understand that the original people on this planet were Black Africans who laid the foundation of civilization in both the Old and New Worlds. As for the New World, Columbus himself and nearly a dozen other European explorers reported that Black people preceded them to the Western Hemisphere.
In spite of all of the evidence available to them, White scholars are no more likely to be truthful about Black history than Donald Trump is about politics. The White academic establishment is as determined to suppress Black greatness as the Republican party is to suppress Black votes. Therefore, we must ignore their falsifications of the Black past and proceed to reveal the truth: The African nations that sponsored the ancient mariners who settled America were not “shithole countries.” They were powerful Black empires whose explorers circumnavigated the globe long before Trump’s ancestors emerged from the caves of Europe!
Legrand H. Clegg II is the City Attorney emeritus for Compton, California, president of the Western Region of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and producer of the documentary, “When Black People Ruled The World.” He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at his Long Beach, CA office at (562) 624-2857. To read more extensive articles, he may also be contacted on Instagram @legrandclegg.