Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Except for books such as The Negro Cowboys, the African American West remains an enigma to most Americans. Popular media continue to perpetuate the stereotype of a white West, in spite of the fact that some of the earliest explorers accompanying the European invasion were of African descent. Beginning in 1501 with the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Africans were there. They were with Balboa when he "discovered" the Pacific, with Cortes in Mexico, with Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado, and others. Estevanico (Little Stephen) first explored New Mexico and Arizona.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1991