When you don’t teach a people about their complete history and greatness, you make them incompetent and unable to fulfill the full potential and plan for their future as a culture. While we commend Christopher Columbus (or should we say, Cristobal Colon) for sailing the seas in search of new land on Europe’s behalf, he was not the first to make that journey. In fact, widely untaught evidence exists that Africans sailed to the Americas and settled centuries before Columbus. According to an American historian and linguist Leo Weiner of Harvard University, one of the strongest pieces of evidence to support the fact that Africans sailed to America before Christopher Columbus was a journal entry from Columbus himself. In Weiner’s book, “Africa and the Discovery of America,” he explains that Columbus noted in his journal that the Native Americans confirmed “black skinned people had come from the south-east in boats, trading in gold-tipped spears.” It was found also that the ratio of properties of gold, copper, and silver alloy were identical to the spears then being forged in African Guinea. Enormous Olmec head statues with African facial characteristics found throughout Central and South America support that Africans had settled in America long before its apparent “discovery.” Ranging up to 11.15 feet in height and weighing 30 to 40 tons, these statues generally depict helmeted black men with large eyes, broad fleshy noses and full lips. The first of these heads was discovered by explorer Jose Melgar in Veracruz in 1862. Melgar wrote that “what astonished me was the Ethiopic type which it represents. I reflected that there had undoubtedly been blacks in this country.” The headpiece worn on these Olmec sculptures is related to a type of war helmet identified as connecting them to Egyptian region Nubians. In truth, Africans began coming to the Americas thousands of years before Columbus; and the evidence of their presence, though systematically ignored by mainstream and K-12 education curriculum, is overwhelming and undeniable. Even early Mexican scholars were convinced that the impact of the black explorers on the New World was profound and enduring. One author, J.A. Villacorta, has written: “Any way you view it, Mexican civilization had its origin in Africa.” Indian scholar, Rafique Jairazbhoy appears to have been right when he wrote: “The black began his career in America not as slave but as master.” It’s about time that America realizes that fact also. DeWayne Johnson (email@example.com) is co-founder and executive consultant at BridgeBuilder Education & Investments, LLC.