Esteban and The Children of the Sun was presented October 3, 2021, at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City, Iowa. Offered as a "musical suite," the performance used the book Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America as one of "the first resources" relied on by late composer John Rapson in his research.
It's stil debated if Viceroy Mendoza, who purchased Esteban from his Spanish slave owner Andrés Dorantes, was free or still a slave when he led Friar Marcos's expedition to find the "Seven Cities of Cíblola."
For those interested in such things, here are some facts about Esteban's name:
* Esteban is a Spanish male given name, derived from Greek Στέφανος (Stéphanos) and related to the English names Steven and Stephen.
* The correct accent on the Spanish name is on the first syllable, although American pronunciation is often heard with the accent on the last syllable.
It is traditional wisdom (and therefore very likely wrong) that Zuni Indians killed Esteban the day after he arrived at the Zuni village of Hawikuu in April of 1539.
My book Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America examines the fate that the first Spanish writers and then later writers over the centuries have made so commonly accepted. But my book presents a compelling argument that Zunis probably did not kill kill Esteban so soon in the way that so many history books claim. The Zunis might not have killed him at all.
Readers might not be aware of the differences in Esteban's Spanish society and America's society today.
Following are some of the major differences:
* Spain's practice of primogeniture, which resulted in disinheritance of second-born and later sons—and all daughters—who were accustomed to wealth, resulting in them doing whatever they had to do to reclaim wealth and status in the New World.
Indigenous Day? Columbus Day? New Mexico and some other states have embraced "Indigenous Day" as a holiday instead of continuing to honor Columbus, who is undeseving because of his treatment of natives of the Americas since he arrived in 1492. The following is an excerpt from the biography, Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America:
For years Esteban's biography author Dennis Herrick has collected science fiction novels and short stories about the "First Contact" by extraterrestrial aliens from another planet with the people of Earth. In writing the nonfiction biography, Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America, it occurred to him how Esteban's appearance with Zuni Puebloans in the spring of 1539 was a kind of "First Contact" for the Zunis, who had never seen a Black man before and also had not imagined another world across the sea.