North from Mexico: The First Black Settlers in the U.S. West

The first Black settlers in what is now the western United States were Spanish speakers who came north from what is now central Mexico. Their roots there began in 1519, when Black men were among the Spanish conquistadores who invaded and destroyed the Aztec Empire, … Read MoreNorth from Mexico: The First Black Settlers in the U.S. West

Ladinos and Bozales: A Brief Early History of Africans in Colombia: 1500-1800

Few people realize that the percentage of people of African ancestry in the South American nation of Colombia (7%) is slightly more than half the percentage of people of African ancestry in the United States (13%). Yet we know even less about the origins of … Read MoreLadinos and Bozales: A Brief Early History of Africans in Colombia: 1500-1800

St. Benedict the Moor (1526-1589)

Benedetto Manasseri, an Italian of African descent, was born near Messina, Italy to Cristoforo and Diana Manasseri in 1526. His parents, captured as slaves from Africa in the early 16th century, were brought to San Fratello, near Messina.  They converted to Catholicism and, due to … Read MoreSt. Benedict the Moor (1526-1589)