African American History Culture : Gaspar Yanga: El Yanga

Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by cherryblossom, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Feb 28, 2009
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    Black History Moment – Gaspar Yanga of Mexico

    "Today, I’d like to continue the tradition of saluting our lesser known African heroes. Our history books may have omitted some of these warriors, but we, their descendants can keep them alive through the spoken and written word.

    Slaves were brought to the Mexico during the early 1500’s and from the beginning, there were uprising that frightened and frustrated their Spanish captors. Gaspar Yanga, also known as Nyanga led such a rebellion in 1570. Nyanga was from a royal family in Gabon (west Central Africa). He led his people to the highlands of Veracruz and built a maroon colony, palenque in Spanish.

    The Spanish government decided to retake the territory in 1609 and with 500 troops, set out to take the area by force. Nyanga, a senior citizen by this time, had only 100 warriors, so thought to try diplomacy. Through the current military leader, Francisco de la Matosa, he sent the Spanish terms that promised their support against future invaders in exchange for separate rule of their territory.

    Unsurprisingly, the Spanish refused and attacked and burned the settlement. Casualties were suffered on both sides, but Nyanga’s people retreated further into the hills and the stalemate continued for another nine years. In 1618, the treaty was signed and the town of San Lorenzo de los Negros was born. Today, the town remains, under the name Yanga.

    Following Mexican independence from Spain, historian, novelist, short story writer and also a Mayor of Mexico city – Vicente Riva Palacio led the charge to make Yanga a national hero."