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They Were NOT Here before Columbus: Afrocentric Hyperdiffusionism in the 1990s

Bernard Ortiz de Montellano, Gabriel Haslip-Viera and Warren Barbour
Ethnohistory
Vol. 44, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), pp. 199-234
Published by: Duke University Press
DOI: 10.2307/483368
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/483368
Page Count: 36
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They Were NOT Here before Columbus: Afrocentric Hyperdiffusionism in the 1990s
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Abstract

This essay responds to a theory that has been aggressively promoted as fact by an influential group of Afrocentrists in recent years-that New World civilizations were created or were influenced by African visitors at key points in the centuries that preceded the European discovery of the Americas. As discussed in this essay, the theory is shown to have no support in the evidence that has been analyzed by specialists in various fields. The essay focuses on the methodological approaches employed by Afrocentrists in their study of linguistics, terracotta figurines, technological development, and monumental sculpture. A concluding section briefly discusses the repercussions of this theory on ethnic relations in schools, on college campuses, and in North American society as a whole.

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