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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America

The first biography of a forgotten historical figure, Esteban, much maligned when he is mentioned at all in histories of early America, will be published October 15 by University of New Mexico Press.

When Pueblo Indians say, "The first white man we saw was a black man," they are referring to Esteban and his arrival in 1539.

I wrote Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America because I was upset that centuries of negative portrayals have persisted about Esteban.

This biography highlights Esteban's importance in early America's history, where he is usually referred to by his slave nickname of Estebanico. What little is known about Esteban comes from the Spaniard Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, other Spanish chroniclers, and American writers whose condescension toward the Moroccan slave has carried over into most history books.
This biography dispells the myths and lies about Esteban that attacked his character and belittled his accomplishments. The biography emphasizes Esteban rather than the Spanish conquistadors, whose exploits are often exaggerated and glorified in the sixteenth-century chronicles. Esteban is given full credit for his courage, his skill as a linguist, and his stature as a cultural intermediary who was trusted and respected by natives from many tribes across the continent.
From a premier publisher of the Southwest, the University of New Mexico Press, this extensively researched biography restores a remarkable man to his proper role in history. The biography is available for pre-orders from bookstores, the publisher, or on Amazon.

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