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)

Juan Valiente (ca. 1505-1553)

Juan Valiente, a Spanish-speaking black conquistador, was born in Northwest Africa around 1505 and was enslaved and acquired by the Portuguese.  He was eventually purchased by Alonso Valiente, who had become a wealthy resident of Mexico City and Puebla after his participation in the conquest … Read MoreJuan Valiente (ca. 1505-1553)