The year is 1565, and the first new world is taking shape.
The first people of African heritage who came to the Americas, both here and the united states, and Latin America, were free.
The new world was built by three groups, the Europeans, the Indigenous, and the Africanos, and without any of those three, this would not have happened.
The colonist had a tremendous stake in this particular venture called the enterprise of Florida.
Free blacks became shop keepers, merchants, skilled artisans, craftsmen, in other words, what makes the colony function.
“There is a baptism of a free black child in St. Augustine 3 years before Jamestown in even founded,” Historian James Bullock, Fort Mose Historical State Park.
Most of the slaves that were brought to Spanish Florida were domestic slaves, or royal slaves who had very specific, highly refined skills.
“You also see an African woman, in the late 16th century, early 17th century, who serves as the first nurse in the hospital of Santa Barbada, in St. Augustine,” J. Michael Francis Ph.D., University of South Florida.
But by the mid to late 1700’s, their mission of keeping La Florida to themselves, failed.
The English tried to colonize North America with, at first, indentured servants, and a promise of 7 years of labor. And what they will find is being a slave for 7 years might as well be a lifetime.
Now, the Spanish did not shy away from large scale ruthless enslavement.
For blacks, there were now two Americas, One English, one Spanish. and the difference between them could not be more striking.