There was a time once Christopher Columbus was heavily pushed and accepted because he was considered the greatest soul of this facet of the world (Americas). Never mind the tiny detail of however one might ‘discover’ an area where folks ‘already live.’
SO WHY WOULD FOLKS STILL CELEBRATE A ‘LIE’?
But as a result of Europeans way back staked a claim because of their dominant voice, particularly of the questionable ‘New World,’ their version of events has endured.
As with each alternative position within the world, the African folks were also explorers. Here are some historical facts that folks have to know:
Abubakari II (also referred to as Abu Bakari, Abu Bakr II and Mansa Musa II)
Western learned ones had, by and large, dismissed the idea that Africans had contact with the Americas long before Columbus. But intellectuals such as Ivan Van Sertima and Cheikh Anta Diop rejected this and they made it clear in their books They Came Before Columbus (1976) and The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality (1974). However, they weren’t alone. Decades before, revered Harvard lecturer Leo Wiener, a Russian-born scholar of Polish-Jewish heritage who was a polyglot expert in more than 20 languages, noted the African presence in his 1920 book Africa and the Discovery of America.
In the year 2000 (around), Malian historian Gaoussou Diawara, author of Abubakari II (also available in French), along with other African experts and researchers, began to explore the history of Abubakari, who once ruled the Mali Empire in West Africa, and to proclaim him the main character behind the African arrival to the Americas prior to Columbus. Abubakari is said to be the son of Kolonkan, sister of Sundiata Keita (also Sundjata Keita and Soundjata Keita), the founding emperor of the great Mali Empire in West Africa.
In the year 1311, Abubakari handed-over his throne to Mansa Musa to pursue his belief that the Ocean (Atlantic Ocean), similar to the River Niger, had another bank. Throughout his rule, Abubakari had financed a 200-boat expedition to find the bank on the other side of Atlantic Ocean.
When only one ship returned home, the captain reported that the current had swept the rest of the fleet away forcing him to turn back, Abubakari again financed a 2000-boat expedition which he himself helmed. It’s believed that Abubakari (who never returned home) landed at what is now known as Recife in Brazil and that some of the previous boats landed in other regions throughout the Americas, including what is now known as Mexico and even in Colorado. This is why Wiener and others before and after him noted early remnants of African culture in the Americas, a number of those Columbus found himself upon his arrival.
The Niño Brothers (Pedro Alonso, Francisco, Juan, and Bartolomé)
Well known as “El Negro,” navigator and explorer Pedro Alonso Niño, who is the son of a white Spaniard and an enslaved African woman, has long been acknowledged for his part in Columbus expedition, especially on Columbus first expedition to the Americas in 1492, as the pilot of the Santa Maria. Although Pedro is one of the most well-known of Columbus’s crew, he was not alone, his brothers Francisco (youngest) and Juan (oldest) were also part of Columbus’s voyages. In their home of Moguer, Spain, they were considered as experienced and well-known sailors with experience on Atlantic voyages. Pedro even sailed the West African coast. During the first Columbus voyage, Juan piloted La Niña, which he also owned. Francisco was most likely a sailor on La Niña.
The brothers were also part of Columbus’s crew in his second voyage in which it’s well-documented that Pedro was with Columbus when he “discovered” Trinidad. In fact, the sons of Pedro and Juan are believed to have participated in Columbus’s voyages as well.
Ingenious Pedro set out on his own expedition, in search of wealth and riches (maybe gold) in the Americas that Columbus had not ventured through. On his return to Spain, he was accused of cheating the King of 20 per cent of the treasure and was arrested. He died in prison before there was any trial. Francisco died in Honduras. It is not widely known where Juan died.
He was born in Africa but was enslaved in Portugal. He began his career as an explorer in Seville, Spain, maybe as a slave. In around 1502 – 1503, he reached Santo Domingo. Later, Garrido was elevated to the status of a conquistador when he was with Ponce de Leon during his search for the Fountain of Youth in Florida in 1513. Garrido was also part of the Hernán (also Hernando) Cortés-led invasion of Mexico in 1519, which resulted in the conquest and the destruction of the Aztecs and their culture.
Later in the 1520s, he participated in expeditions to Michoacán in Mexico and travelled to the islands around San Juan and Cuba as well.
Garrido married, fathered three children and settled in Mexico City. To secure the land that automatically should’ve been his based on his services (without pay), he provided testimony of his 30 years exploitation (and the loots) as a conquistador in 1538. Juan Garrido is also credited for his ventures in agro-industry such as harvesting the first commercial wheat crop in the Americas.