They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America by Ivan Van Sertima
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 storytelling, Van Sertima re-creates some of the most powerful scenes of human history: the launching of the great ships of Mali in 1310 (two hundred master boats and two hundred supply boats), the sea expedition of the Mandingo king in 1311, and many others. In They Came Before Columbus, we see clearly the unmistakable face and handprint of black Africans in pre-Columbian America, and their overwhelming impact on the civilizations they encountered.
Wow. I need to read this.
This would explain so much of why so many Natives and Africans can relate culturally…
The Spider King’s Daughter, Chibundu Onuzo (Nigeria)
CHIBUNDO ONUZO was born in Nigeria in 1991 and is the youngest of four children. She is currently studying History at Kings College, London. When not writing, Chibundu can be found playing the piano or singing.
‘The Spider King’s Daughter’ is a modern-day Romeo and Juliet set against the backdrop of a changing Lagos, a city torn between tradition and modernity, corruption and truth, love and family loyalty. Seventeen-year-old Abike Johnson is the favourite child of her wealthy father. She lives in a sprawling mansion in Lagos, protected by armed guards and ferried everywhere in a huge black jeep. But being her father’s favourite comes with uncomfortable duties, and she is often lonely behind the high walls of her house.
A world away from Abike’s mansion, in the city’s slums, lives a seventeen-year-old hawker struggling to make sense of the world. His family lost everything after his father’s death and now he runs after cars on the roadside selling ice cream to support his mother and sister.
When Abike buys ice cream from the hawker one day, they strike up an unlikely and tentative romance, defying the prejudices of Nigerian society. But as they grow closer, revelations from the past threaten their relationship and both Abike and the hawker must decide where their loyalties lie.
The Spide King’s Daughter is on the shortlist for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize.
How Tough is too Tough? How rocketing school suspensions nationwide may feed the school-to-prison pipeline – and even violate civil rights, a special report by Monitor education reporter Stacy Teicher Khadaroo.
Photos: (top)Mercedes Morgan, a senior at Ralph J. Bunche Academy, an Oakland, Calif., alternative school for students with disciplinary records, listens in as the school’s restorative justice coordinator, Eric Butler (r.), talks by phone with her mother. Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor
(bottom) Indicating he’s done answering a question, Oakland High School student Jesse Baldain III passes a ball to the instructor in his manhood-development class. Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor
Graphics by Rich Clabaugh/The Christian Science Monitor