The year, 1835. The setting, the Florida territory on the eve of the Second Seminole War. Tensions between the region’s native inhabitants and an encroaching American government have escalated upon President Andrew Jackson’s order to push the Seminoles west for incorporation with Creek natives. Given the territory’s history as the largest haven for Africans escaping enslavement in the South, a sizable representation of maroons or “Black Seminoles” — Africans both formerly enslaved and free — live among and are allied with the natives. Unwilling to give up their land or submit to enslavement and though substantially outnumbered and outgunned, the alliance wages war against the United States Army.
The fertility of enslaved women was examined by owners to make sure they were able to birth as many children as possible. Secretly, slaveowners would impregnate enslaved women and when the child was born and grew to an age where he could work on the fields, they would take the “very same children (of their) own blood and make slaves out of them,” as pointed out in the National Humanities Center Resource Toolbox on Slaveholders’ Sexual Abuse of Slaves.
There is very little known about the revolutionary Gaspar Yanga. From the available historic records, Yanga is said to have been a royal from the Bran, people in the country that would go on to be Gabon. Yanga was enslaved in New Spain or Mexico but he managed to free himself from bondage to create one the first free towns for Black people in all of the Americas after the start of the Atlantic Slave Trade.
President Barack Obama’s push for legislation that would enable the U.S. to strike a major trade deal with 11 other countries has gotten tangled in a debate over Malaysia’s record on slave labor, throwing up a last-minute legislative obstacle.