News Flash: Columbus didn’t discover the new world
Africans knew about the new world long before Columbus
The first people to discover the misnamed Americas were people who came across the Pacific Ocean from Asia – people who were descendants of the first African explorers.
When Columbus arrived in 1492, the lands he supposedly ‘discovered’ were inhabited by thousands of different tribes of what we now call First Nation peoples instead of “Indians” which they clearly are not.
And the New World had already been visited, apparently, many times before by Africans. How do we know this? There is evidence in the lost libraries of Timbuktu according to some sources – but the books are written in Arabic and so we will have to wait until they are translated to know for sure.
However, while researching my African Sorceress series, I came across some very interesting circumstantial evidence that indicates to me that the source of Columbus’ knowledge which led him to consider crossing the Atlantic Ocean came from Africans.
Consider this: The first trading fort built by the Portuguese in the Gulf of Guinea was at a place called Axim in what is now modern-day Ghana. It was constructed in 1472. The original village of the tribe in my book African Sorceress is located near Axim and the coming of the Portuguese is described by the old Grandmother in that book.
When I was researching the history of this fort, I was intrigued to read that it was visited by none other than Christopher Columbus in 1482. After that, he went back to Europe and spent the next ten years trying to convince the crowned heads of various European states to give him ships, as he was convinced that if he sailed west, he would come to India.
So was the trip to Axim coincidental? What did he learn there? If the books of Timbuktu are correct, Africans had sailed many times across the ocean and traded with the people on the other side. It happens that it is much easier to sail west from Africa than from Europe. Up north, the winds and the currents blow and flow east, but down south off the coast of Africa, the winds and the currents travel in a westerly direction.
When Columbus left Spain on the Santa Maria, he sailed south along the coast of Africa and then turned west. What made him do that? I think he learned of the route from local sailors and fishermen when he visited Axim.
My book is fiction, so I don’t have to quote sources or prove my assertions, but I do believe that Africans knew about the new world and I am pretty sure that Columbus found out enough from them to convince him to give it a try.
Unfortunately for First Nation peoples and Africans alike, the rest is history