Friday, June 5, 2009
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima dies at 74
His point of entrance was January 26, 1935 - his exit - May 25, 2009.
How rare is it to actually meet and spend quality time with two of the people that influenced my life via their research and the documentation of various subjects related to Africans in the Diaspora.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima and the late Dr. Asa Hilliard III are the two people that had a huge effect on my life.
It was the summer of 1988 and both Scholars took me under their wings during a study program in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Van Sertima and his wife Jackie were there doing research and compiling information for the book Egypt Revisited,1990, and Dr. Hilliard III and his wife Pat, to educate all of the Holy Royal Family members that summer.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, the Guyanese-born poet, linguist, anthropologist, historian, wrote one of the most crucial documentaries that proved that Africans had arrived and traded business in what is now known as the USA, 1,000 years before Columbus stepped foot on this American Soil.
The book is entitled, They Came Before Columbus , Random House, 1976, which gave undisputed evidence that the Olmec Indians had traded with Africans and even created 14 statutes(heads) of these Africans. Dr. Ivan Van Sertima had these black heads created by the Olmecs carbon dated, so that there can be no mistaking the time period in which these heads were created in tribute to the black man. These heads are found in the Yucatan and the interior of Mexico down to this very day. He felt it was crucial to properly identify the contributions made by Africans in Central and South America, thus showing the prehistoric advances in metallurgy, writing and mathematics.
He wrote an article entitled, The Lost Sciences of Africa: An Overview. This demonstrated the prehistoric African contribution.
Dr. Van Sertima worked shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, who earned his doctoriate at Sorbonne, set up a radiocarbon dating laboratory at the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire(IFAN), in Senegal. Dr Diop continued establishing his theory of ancient Egypt being the precursor of modern civilization. By using using archaeological specimens for identification and analysis, along in conjunction with free carbon dating, Dr. Diop proved that the Ancient Egyptians were Black.
Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, and Dr. Diop worked tirelessly to restore the dignity of Africans. In the book, Great African Thinkers: Chiekh, Anta Diop, New Brunswick, NJ., 1989. It expounds on the need to accurately identify these truths.
The knowledge that you and your constituents instilled in us remains forever.
We love you Dr. Ivan Van Sertima.