Black History: Special Delivery!!
Dr. Jane Landers is a History professor at Vanderbilt University who has done extesnive research into the presence of Africans in the Americas that predates the antebellum south or British colonization efforts of the 1500’s. Her work is fascinating paints a very different picture than what most of us have been taught in school. For many of us we encapsulate black history as starting with slavery and ending with MLK. In this short video, she shares some fascinating history and little known facts about the history of Africans in the Americas!
She focuses quite a bit on how blacks began to inhabit parts of Florida.
Dr. Landers has published a number of writings on the history of Africans in the Atlantic world. Some of her works include,” Black Society in Spanish Florida”, and “Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions”. She currently serves as director of the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies digital archive which works to preserve some of the oldest records of Africans in the U.S., Colombia, Cuba, and Brazil.
Many people believed that blacks did not come to America until the 1600’s. However, the presence of blacks dates back to the 1500’s and many came as explorers rather than slaves or indentured servants. Many of the records recorded in English date back to the 1600’s. However, records recorded in Spanish go back much further. Before Florida officially became a state, it was ruled by the Spanish who kept extensive records. Florida eventually came under British control. When this occurred, many of the Africans whether slave or free who had migrated there were sent to Cuba. There is extensive evidence of Africans coming to the Americas and fighting along with the Spanish Army. Landers also shares some fascinating details regarding the history of chattel slavery.
The contributions and accomplishments of Africans play an important part in history. Though slavery is certainly a significant part of our history as Africans in the Americas, it is not our only history. You will undoubtedly learn something new by watching the video or be reminded of the significant role African history and culture have in World History.