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Geography meets History: amazing black explorers who made a mark in history.

Geography meets History: amazing black explorers who made a mark in history.


Ama Bartholomew
Ama Bartholomew
Geography meets History: amazing black...

As we celebrate Black History Month I want to throw light on several amazing black explorers who made their mark in history. Over centuries, the world has been blessed with courageous explorers who tirelessly went the extreme lengths to discover new lands, people, riches, animal history, among others.

Often, when talking about such expeditions, names like the following are mentioned: Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal who sailed around the world to prove the world is round; Vasco da Gama who commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea, and Christopher Columbus, noted as the principal European discoverer of the Americas.

But just like any other historical roles in the world, black people also made perilous journeys to the far reaches of the earth and were pioneers of exploration. This week’s focus is on Abubakari II, Mansa (King) of the Mali Empire in the 14th century.

Abubakari II, Mansa (King) of the Mali Empire in the 14th century, led Malian sailors to the Americas, specifically present-day Brazil, almost two centuries years before Columbus arrived.
Abubakari II ruled what was arguably the richest and largest empire on earth – covering nearly all of West Africa. In 1311 Abubakari left to explore across the Atlantic ocean almost 200 years before Columbus arrived in America. Confirming the current widely accepted fact that Columbus did not indeed discover the Americas when he landed in the Caribbean in 1492.

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