Robin Poynor

"Black Society in Spanish Florida" by Jane Landers

My research currently connects the Yoruba people of Nigeria and Yoruba Americans, a portion of whom live in Florida. Although the Yoruba American phenomenon is fairly recent, it fits in a framwork of almost 500 years of African presence in the region, and I am editing a book on Africa in Florida. This book by Jane Landers is the first extensive study that addresses the complex story of the Black experience in Florida when it was a Spanish territory.

Interestingly enough, the bedrock foundation Florida began as a part of Africa, left behind when Gondwanaland separated from Pangaea. Equally fascinating is that African presence and European presence in the peninsula were simultaneous, since Ponce de Leon was assisted by a West African conquistador named Juan Garrido.