The European explorer, Christopher Columbus, even made mention of the African presence in the Americas in his logs. Columbus stated that the purpose of his third voyage was to test the claims of King John the second of Portugal, that “canoes had been found which set out from the coast of West Africa and sailed to the Americas”. Columbus also stated he heard claims of the native inhabitants of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, that black people had come from the southeast who were trading with spears that were made of a gold metal alloy developed in west Africa. Columbus’s son, Ferdinand, said his father told him that he had seen black people north of what is now Honduras. The scholarly art historian, Count Alexander Von Wuthenau, also discusses fourteenth century carvings and sculptures that were found in the Americas which show women and men wearing turbans, clearly African with tribal marks cut on their cheeks, indicating that the people came from Mali.
Adapted From “They Came Before Columbus” Chapter 3, The Mariner Prince of Mali, page 39-50, by Ivan Van Sertima.