Over That Winter of 1528 to 1529, for the first time in the history of modern American soil, an African slave shed his bonds and became a man in the eyes of his former masters. Over that winter, the first African-American was born. Esteban must then have felt the first thrill of power.... For the first time in the history of America, an African is mentioned by name.... Both in real life and in the writings of historians, the slave was to prove more important and more famous than his master. What is more, by a curious irony, it was the master's testimony that served to leave a record of the slave.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Robert Goodwin is a Visiting Research Fellow at King's College London. He has also studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies at University College London, and in Spain at the universities of Granada and Seville. Goodwin lives in London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a scholarly writing with a small amount of story. It was interesting to learn about Esteban, a black slave who crossed from Florida to Mexico by foot with three shipwrecked Spaniards. There wasn't much recorded about him though and most of the book was the author's search for records and descriptions of Spanish life and his contemporary experiences.
Author Robert Goodwin provides an interesting and elaborate account of the first outside explorer of the American South, an African slave called Esteban Dorantes. As Goodwin writes in his introduction, "Esteban became the pivotal character in the amazing adventures he and his Spanish companions lived through during the first crossing of North America in recorded history. The story is well documented because an official report based on the testimony of the three spanish survivors..." What makes this nonfiction particularly interesting is the overall background of Spain and African Slavery during that time period (early to mid-16th Century). This book is quite cerebral on several levels and also explores spiritual issues of the exploration. It has lots of textual information but not a map of the routes traveled as may exist in many explorer books, one probably should familiarize oneself with a map if one is not familiar with the areas mentioned in the book. On this level, it is expected that the reader is familiar with the map areas of terrain covered, making it more scholarly than a mass-market book. It is easy reading, but not quick-reading material. I am halfway through this book and I find the content quite amazing as not only are they explorers, but also pioneers of good will messages amid brutal areas in some of their travels.