Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country

By Esther Cooper Jackson; Constance Pohl | Go to book overview

49
Black/Indian Origins of the Fight for Democracy, No. 2, 1984

WILLIAM LOREN KATZ

William Loren Katz, the author of numerous works of scholarship, is a specialist in the history of relationships of Native Americans and Black Americans and author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage.

. . . Were Roanoke, Jamestown or Plymouth the first foreign settlements on North American shores, or merely the first English ones? What the textbooks fail to mention is that in 1526, less than two generations after Columbus' 1492 landing, a settlement was founded in South Carolina at or near the mouth of the Pedee River. Six decades before Roanoke, eight decades before Jamestown and almost a century before Plymouth, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon, a Spanish official, was pursuing his New World dream with about 500 Spanish men and women and about 100 enslaved Africans. His effort is overlooked, perhaps, because most North Americans prefer to believe their heritage began with the arrival of English-speaking people gov-

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