So we were taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America on his way looking for a new trade route to India but went the wrong way. He got here, marveled at the land the people, spread word back to Spain and the rest is history. "America"; North, Central and South are believed to be named after Amerigo Vespucci. Ok, so far, I got the gist of it.
Then anthropologists and Columbus haters said the land bridge between Asia and North America (Russia and present-day Alaska) is what brought the indigenous people to this continent. Ok, works for me. Human history dictates that ancient man was nomadic. We searched for food and shelter at the whim and the weather and animals we depended on for food and clothing.
Is it "right" or "good" that Columbus (and the men he traveled with and the explorers who came after him) spread diseases and raped and pillaged the indigenous people of this land? No. Of course not. Did his intrigue of the Arawak people lead to the Atlantic slave trade? Yes. And that is terrible. We should not forget the past (I doubt we ever will), but we are here because it happened -- Blacks wouldn't be in America. Let's work on now, today. I can't tell you the number of times I've side-eyed Blacks in America who do not celebrate or appreciate Black history or African history. Or the jokes I hear about Voodoo. Voodoo is the result of African slaves brave enough and smart enough to hold on to their religious and spiritual beliefs (Vudun of West African and the Arawaks of the Caribbean and South America) under the guise of Christianity leaving their slave masters none the wiser. Christian Blacks wouldn't be "Christian" without Columbus. So which side are you on?
How does the song go? "Christopher Columbus, sailed the ocean blue. He bravely left the shore of Spain in 1492..." And then I really have to think, how many African explorers (not Afrikaners or "explorers of Africa") would've left the continent to explore what was beyond the shores? I have some research to do. And I'll continue to follow the debate...