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Marooned: Africans in the Americas 1500 - 1750

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:32 am
by D J Thornton
Very interesting Essay regarding individual Africans that came with various Spanish Explorers
The experience of the first Africans who arrived in the Americas was one of opportunity. Those who came as slaves or freemen had already spent several years in Spain and came as domestics, soldiers, clerks, and artisans. Those who were slaves had been enslaved in Africa, then eventually sold in the markets of Southern Europe to the person who they served when they landed in the Americas. This early pattern would change drastically as the transatlantic slave trade got underway, but for now they were servants and not the brute labor that would typify the ensuing centuries. These Africans already spoke the language of the people they worked for, they knew them personally if not intimately, and they knew not only the culture that the Europeans brought with them, but an African culture as well. Difficult and dangerous as their lives might have been, their death rate did not exceed that of the Europeans they accompanied and sometimes their lower profile and cultural detachment gave them subtle advantages.

Some Africans who came were free