Black History Month: Estevanico, the First African in Texas

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

The history of Africans in Texas goes way back to 1528 with the arrival of Estevanico.

He was born in Morocco, captured and taken to Portugal when he was very young, and sold into slavery in Spain.

But Estevanico had a talent that impressed the Europeans: learning languages, eventually becoming fluent in Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese among others.

"Even though he was a slave, he was treated somewhat as a free man because of his knowledge and education," said Sandaria Faye, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas, and author of Mourner's Bench.

He was chosen for the Narvaez expedition from Spain to the new world, landing just north of Tampa Bay. From there, the ships sailed along the Gulf 'til they capsized near Galveston. Then the mission took to land, exploring the Rio Grande Valley and much of what's now Mexico.

The white leaders of the expedition went home, but Estevanico was re-sold to Antonio de Mendoza, the viceroy of New Spain, for another expedition into New Mexico, where he was killed by Zuni Indians.

"Regardless of what his status was in life, being a slave, I don't think he looked at himself as a slave," Faye said. "I think he looked at himself as an explorer."

30 Second Downloads

Texas DPS is extending some of their center's hours as a trial

Thumbnail for the video titled "Texas DPS is extending some of their center's hours as a trial"

American Airlines expects 30% reduction in flights, overstaffed by 8000 flight attendants

Thumbnail for the video titled "American Airlines expects 30% reduction in flights, overstaffed by 8000 flight attendants"

Popular South Texas beaches restricted, closed for Fourth of July

Thumbnail for the video titled "Popular South Texas beaches restricted, closed for Fourth of July"

Don't Miss

Popular

Latest News

More News