African involvement in the early history of the Americas and Mexico goes back further than most people realize. Click HERE for a comprehensive article about Africans, both free and slave, in Mexico, North, Central, and South America in the 1500s and 1600s.
An unknown number of Spanish-owned black slaves escaped into America's East Coast wilderness in the early 1500s. Black slaves and free Africans also went with conquistador Juan Ponce de León when he sailed to Florida in 1513 and 1521.
And then there was Esteban in Florida in 1528, across the Gulf of Mexico and five years in Texas, guiding the three Spaniards across the rest of the continent through numerous tribes, and later in 1539 in Arizona and New Mexico.