Does the Esteban biography disagree with history? Not really. Even though almost every "historical" account states without reservation that Zuni natives killed Esteban in 1539, the biography points out that such a fate was based on only an assumption by Mexican Indians reporting to Friar Marcos.
Actually, nobody knows for sure what happened.
Future writers of books involving Esteban should note that there is more than one possible outcome for Esteban instead of just declaring that Zunis killed him -- because there is no proof that they did.
The poet Jeffrey Yang wrote a free verse poem about Esteban, titled with his slave nickname of Estevanico, which was published in the July/August issue of Poetry Magazine. As of this date, it still could be found on magazine's website. It consists of 53 verses, 54 if you count the title, which is actually a part of the poem.
No painting or image of Esteban during his lifetime exists. Not even much of a description.
While Esteban certainly would have been bearded while enslaved by Indians in Texas and later traveling across the continent, and perhaps bearded even at other times, this image could be how he appeared while living in Mexico City just before going to Cíbloa.
A chapter in Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America, explores the continuing existence of slavery in the world, whether "de facto" or, as usual, carried out by a society's criminal and/or greedy elements.
One nation not mentioned in the book but where slavery is still a problem is the northwestern African country of Mauritania, a country dominated by its Arab and Berber majorities just south of the Western Sahara, controlled by Morocco.
When asked why I wrote Esteban's biography, I reply that all my books are about average people who face such daunting obstacles that they seemed destined to fail. They are the underdogs that end up winning.
As a slave to Spaniards, Esteban could not have been expected to survive, much less come to the attention of a king, in the harrowing circumstances he endured.
The biggest problem with the Wikipedia page about Esteban is that it's posted by the name of Estevanico. That was only his slave nickname, which many writers insist on still using.
Calling him Estevanico, which translates into English as "Little Stephen" or even as "Stevie," was how early Spanish slave owners demeaned and marginalized him as a slave. It was a dismissive reference, much like the fact that early Spanish chronicles often didn't refer to him by any name, but just called him "El Negro."
I did not post the Wikipedia page listed for "Estevanico." It was posted by someone else who keeps rejecting and writing over any attempts to correct the page.
Although generally accurate, the page states that the 80 survivors of the trip across the Gulf of Mexico started "overland" after their home-made boats washed ashore in November 1528 on the Texas coast south of Galveston.
The first biography of a forgotten historical figure, Esteban, much maligned when he is mentioned at all in histories of early America, will be published October 15 by University of New Mexico Press.
When Pueblo Indians say, "The first white man our people saw was a black man," they are referring to Esteban and his arrival in 1539.