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Writing about the underdogs

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:23
Dennis Herrick

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.

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Misnaming Esteban for centuries

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:21
Dennis Herrick

 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."

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Problems with Esteban's Wikipedia page

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:19
Dennis Herrick

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 that is usually used in books mentioning Esteban

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Esteban: A long-awaited biography

Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:12
Dennis Herrick

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.

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