A Long History of Trade by Sea
According to Paul Alfred Barton, the author of “A History of the African-Olmecs: Black Civilizations of America from Prehistoric Times to the Present Era,” ancient kingdoms in West Africa have a long history of trade by sail, which made it all the more likely that they eventually expanded their trade to the Americas. While the Sahara is a dry desert today, its past as a lake-filled, wet and fertile place has been well-documented. African ships often crossed these large lakes to get from place to place and traded with other African civilizations along the way. After expanding their trade to the Americas, they certainly made their mark as things like African native cotton were soon being discovered all across North America.