His spiritual leadership, military prowess and superior intellect forced the Spanish Imperial forces to surrender to his terms. His community became an autonomous African and Indigenous City-State within the boundaries of the Spanish Empire.
Don't teach about Yanga because it's Black History Month. Teach about Yanga because he is a hero of freedom and self-determination. Teach about Yanga because his decedents in Mexico look to his story for inspiration as they continue their struggle for equality and recognition over 300 years after his death. Teach about Yanga because as I write this, my computer underlines Yanga in red because his name is still unrecognized. Teach about Yanga because his story and that of all Afro-Mexicans has been misrepresented, ignored and hidden for far too long.
Don't teach about Yanga because it's Black History Month. Teach about Yanga because his story connects all people who love freedom and inspires people of all races and national origins to stand up for what is right.
Chris Mercer is an author, life-coach, full-time Spanish teacher and the proud father of two awesome kiddos living in Richmond, VA. He enjoys singing, working-out and learning guitar.