The horrors of Europeans and then we Americans invading, conquering, enslaving, and killing millions of indigenous people across the Americas can be directly traced to an ages-old philosophy referred to benignly as "The Doctrine of Discovery."
A discussion guide is available for book clubs (or individuals) that read Esteban: The African Slave Who Explored America.
Because the book's events take place in the sixteenth century, which is a period unfamiliar to many readers, the discussion guide explains concepts that might seem strange to the modern reader.
The discussion guide can be downloaded at http://dennisherrick.com/downloads/Esteban%20Discussion%20Guide.pdf
A classic example of how even primary sources can be inaccurate is seen in how the original "eyewitness" of the 1619 arrival of the first Africans to present-day United States deliberately lied about the ship that brought them.
Traditionalist histories claim that slavery started in what is now the United States on or about August 20, 1619, when a British ship appeared in Chesapeake Bay and traded for food "20 and odd" Africans seized from a Portuguese slave ship.
The White Lion, a British-owned privateer operating under a Dutch flag, "sold" the Angolans to planters of Viriginia's earliest tobacco fields at what is now Hampton, Virginia, less than forty miles from the Jamestown settllement.
For perspective, for the year 1527 that the Narváez expedition with Esteban left Spain to invade Florida, here is a list of some notable events in the rest of the world also occurring in that year:
1527 ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD
Another unanswerable question— possibly the biggest one— is whether Zunis killed Esteban the day after he arrived at Hawikku Pueblo, in western New Mexico, as most books about Esteban insist.
Well, maybe. Or maybe not.
A friend proposed that Cabeza de Vaca deliberately kept Esteban in the background in his 1542 book, possibly even with Esteban's knowledge.
Cabeza de Vaca never mentioned Esteban in the first half of his account about the Narváez invasion of Florida. During their cross-continent trek, Cabeza de Vaca referred to the African slave sporadically by name but usually by simply labeling Esteban as El Negro. He even credited some of Esteban's achievements to others.
For perspective, the year of 1539 when Esteban arrived in the Zuni village of Hawikku as the first non-Indian to enter New Mexico, here is a list of some notable events in the rest of the world also occurring in that year:
1539 ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD
An absurd movie was released in Mexico in 1990 titled "Cabeza de Vaca." A relatively unknown actor, Gerardo Villarreal, played the part of Estevanico (Esteban). The movie hero-worships Cabeza de Vaca, and the movie doesn't even try to follow the historical record, although it's supposedly based on Cabea de Vaca's chronicle of 1542 and is advertised as "true and amazing adventures." The movie is built primarily on dramatic accounts of events that never occurred.