This article continues from the following portion of this article: Abubakari II: Africa's Greatest Explorer? And Mansa Musa: The Richest Man Who Ever Live
Abubakari II departed from the coast of West Africa from a site in what is now modern-day Gambia with 2,000 vessels filled with sailors, their wives, food, water, and even gold.
While we know for certain that Abubakari II never returned to reclaim his empire, a new voice has emerged with a theory about what happened to him. Malian author Gadoussou Diawara, in his book, "The Saga of Abubakari II" believes that he landed in Brazil and stayed there.
Advocates of a Black transatlantic crossing have offered a variety of evidence over the years to support their claims. And no one can take issue with Carter G. Woodson's observation in his "The Negro In Our History" first written nearly a century ago: "Inasmuch as scientists now claim there once existed on the western coast of Africa a very advanced people who influenced even the civilization of the Mediterranean world, they have little doubt of their having extended their culture across the middle passage. Africa, it will be remembered, is nearer to America than Europe."
Moreover, it is difficult to overlook the African features of the famed Olmec heads of Mexico, some with cornrow hairstyles, or the preColumbian Africoid sculptures collected by Alexander Von Wuthennau and published in his "Unexpected Faces in Ancient America," and in which he noted that "the startling fact is that in all parts of Mexico from Campeche in the east to the south coast of Guerro, and from Chiapas, next to the Guatemalan border, to the Panuco River in the Huasteca region (north of Vera Cruz) archaeological pieces representing Negro or negroid people have been found, especially in archaic or preclassic sites."
There have been similar findings at several sites in Mexico by the Polish scientist Andrzej Wiercinski. One of the pioneering works on the subject is "Africa in the Discovery of America," a three-volume magnum opus published between 1920 and 1922 by Professor Leo Weiner of Harvard University.
He uncovered an astounding array of rare quotes from early European explorers, African loan words in Native American languages, and much more. On page 365 in his third volume, he mentioned: "the presence of Negroes with their trading masters in America before Columbus is proved by the representations of Negroes in American sculpture and design, by the occurrence of a Black nation at Darien (present-day Panama) early in the XVI century, but more specifically by Columbus' emphatic reference to Negro traders from Guinea, who trafficked in a gold alloy 'guanin' of precisely the same composition having the same name as frequently referred to by early writers in Africa."
Before Weiner there was Peter DeRoo, the author of "History of America Before Columbus," who mentioned "ancient Negro arrivals" in the Americas." In the 1970s, Professor Ivan Van Sertima produced "They Came Before Columbus" and Harvard professor Barry Fell published: "America B.C." Both of which furthered the discussion of preColumbian Africans arriving in the western hemisphere. Van Sertima believed that Abubakari II, a man whose empire was larger than the Holy Roman Empire in Europe, "...sailed out of the Senegal river into the Atlantic."