Does the Esteban biography disagree with history? Not really. Although it does disagree with the conventional history of him. Even though almost every account states without reservation that Zuni natives killed Esteban in 1539, the biography points out that such a death was based only on assumptions by Mexican Indians reporting to Friar Marcos who admitted they didn't see it happen.
Actually, nobody knows for sure what happened
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 2017 issue of Poetry Magazine. As of October. 1, 2019, it still could be found on the 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 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. Estevanico was the slave nickname for Esteban (full Spanish name of Esteban de Dorantes). The nickname was condescendingly used to demean him, and it is the nickname usually used in books mentioning Esteban
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.