Historian Dr. Ivan Van Sertima Passes

Published May 29, 2009

Author, linguist, poet and anthropologist Dr. Ivan Van Sertima has died.

He is perhaps best known for his book on African American history, “They Came Before Columbus,” which makes the case that there was early African influence in the Americas long before 1619. Later works argued that the ancient Egyptians were Black.

Van Sertima was born in January 1935 in Kitty, Guyana when the country was still a British colony. He moved to London to attend college and majored in African Studies.

He later moved to the United States and attended Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he ended up teaching for more than 30 years.

Written by BET.com Staff

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