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Ivan Van Sertima

Full Name: Ivan Van Sertima
Gender: Male
Hometown: Kitty Village
Born: 1935-01-26
Died: 2009-05-25
Number of Works: 14
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima was born in Guyana, South America. He was educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University) and the Rutgers Graduate School and held degrees in African Studies and Anthropology. From 1957-1959 he served as a Press and Broadcasting Officer in the Guyana Information Services. During the decade of the 1960s he broadcast weekly from Britain to Africa and the Caribbean.

He was a literary critic, a linguist, and an anthropologist who made a name in all three fields.

As a literary critic, he is the author of Caribbean Writers, a collection of critical essays on the Caribbean novel. He is also the author of several major literary reviews published in Denmark, India, Britain and the United States. He was honored for his work in this field by being asked by the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy to nominate candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature from 1976-1980. He was honored as an historian of world repute by being asked to join UNESCO's International Commission for Rewriting the Scientific and Cultural History of Mankind.

As a linguist, published essays on the dialect of the Sea Islands off the Georgia Coast. He also compiled the Swahili Dictionary of Legal Terms, based on his field work in Tanzania, East Africa, in 1967.

He is the author of They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America, which was published by Random House in 1977 and is presently in its twenty-ninth printing. It was published in French in 1981 and in the same year, was awarded the Clarence L. Holte Prize, a prize awarded every two years “for a work of excellence in literature and the humanities relating to the cultural heritage of Africa and the African diaspora.”

He also authored Early America Revisited, a book that has enriched the study of a wide range of subjects, from archaeology to anthropology, and has resulted in profound changes in the reordering of historical priorities and pedagogy.

Professor of African Studies at Rutgers University, Dr. Van Sertima was also Visiting Professor at Princeton University. He was the Editor of the Journal of African Civilizations, which he founded in 1979 and has published several major anthologies which have influenced the development of multicultural curriculum in the United States. These anthologies include Blacks in Science: ancient and modern, Black Women in Antiquity, Egypt Revisited, Egypt: Child of Africa, Nile Valley Civilizations (out of print), African Presence in the Art of the Americas (due 2007), African Presence in Early Asia (co-edited with Runoko Rashidi), African Presence in Early Europe, African Presence in Early America, Great African Thinkers, Great Black Leaders: ancient and modern and Golden Age of the Moor.

As an acclaimed poet, his work graces the pages of River and the Wall, 1953 and has been published in English and German. As an essayist, his major pieces were published in Talk That Talk, 1989, Future Directions for African and African American Content in the School Curriculum, 1986, Enigma of Values, 1979, and in Black Life and Culture in the United States, 1971.

Dr. Van Sertima has lectured at more than 100 universities in the United States and has also lectured in Canada, the Caribbean, South America and Europe. In 1991 Dr. Van Sertima defended his highly controversial thesis on the African presence in pre-Columbian America before the Smithsonian. In 1994 they published his address in Race, Discourse and the Origin of the Americas: A New World View of 1492.

He also appeared before a Congressional Committee on July 7, 1987 to challenge the Columbus myth. This landmark presentation before Congress was illuminating and brilliantly presented in the name of all peoples of color across the world.


ISBN: 0812968174, 9780812968170
Keywords: america, ancient, presence, african, columbus
Pages: 336
Published: 1976
  • Rating: 80%

They Came Before Columbus reveals a compelling, dramatic, and superbly detailed documentation of the presence and legacy of Africans in ancient America. Examining navigation and shipbuilding; cultural analogies between Native Americans and Africans; the transportation of plants, animals, and textiles between the continents; and the diaries, journals, and oral accounts of the explorers themselves, Ivan Van Sertima builds a pyramid of evidence to support his claim of an African presence in the New World centuries before Columbus. Combining impressive scholarship with a novelist’s gift for
ISBN: 1560005815, 9781560005810
Keywords: civilizations, vol, african, journal, moor, golden
Pages: 474
Published: 1991
  • Rating: 100%

This book examines the debt owed by Europe to the Moors for its Renaissance, and the significant role played by the Africans in the Muslim invasions of the Iberian peninsula. While the authors focus mainly on Spain and Portugal, they also examine the races and roots of the original North Africans before the later ethnic mix of the blackamoors and tawny Moors in the medieval period. The study ranges from characterizations of the Moors in the literature of Cervantes and Shakespeare to their profound influence upon the development of Europe's university system, and the diffusion through this syst
ISBN: 0887386644, 9780887386640
Keywords: europe, presence, african
Pages: 345
Published: 1986
  • Rating: 100%
ISBN: 0878559825, 9780878559824
Keywords: african, civilizations, journal, antiquity, women, black
Pages: 239
Published: 1988
  • Rating: 100%

According to the most recent U.S. census, twice as many black men are involved in interracial relationships as black women. Do black women consciously resist such involvement? What motivates the relatively few women who are in these types of relationships? And how do they navigate the unfamiliar terrain in intimacy?One of the most popular explanations for black women’s involvement in interracial intimacy is the unavailability of eligible black men. This explanation focuses on the dismal statistics popularly discussed in reports that forecast lonely futures for African American females. C
ISBN: 0887387179, 9780887387173
Keywords: asia, presence, african
Pages: 224
Published: 1985
  • Rating: 80%

Contributors to this volume argue that blacks were a formative civilizing influence on Asian societies. Presenting their case with persuasive eloquence and research, the authors examine cultural forms, art motifs, weapons, scripts, and skeletal evidence to link Asian civilizations to Africa's Nile Valley. Articles detail both the physical and cultural presence of Africans in Asia. Topics covered include the black presence and heavy intermittent influence in Sumer, Elam, and Arabia; contributions of Dravidians and Ethiopian blacks to the Indus Valley civilizations; the history of the first Chin
ISBN: 0887387152, 9780887387159
Keywords: america, presence, african
Pages: 250
Published: 1987
  • Rating: 100%
ISBN: 0887387993, 9780887387999
Keywords: revisited, egypt
Pages: 454
Published: 1989
  • Rating: 80%

This volume represents a new departure in the examination of Egypt's place in the African context. It brings together the latest research on Nile Valley civilizations, what they achieved, and their impact on Africa and the world. The authors take an "Afrocentric" view in contrast to "Eurocentric" perspective in their studies of the birthplace of civilization. This volume includes sections on the race and origin of the ancient Egyptians' black dynasties and rulers, Egyptian science and philosophy, and great Egyptologists.
ISBN: 0765804638, 9780765804631
Keywords: revisited, america
Pages: 235
Published: 1998
  • Rating: 100%