Secrets of Spanish Florida – A Secrets of the Dead Screening

Secrets of Spanish Florida – A Secrets of the Dead Screening

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm

To escape British rule, as many as 3,019 people fled St. Augustine. As the Spanish ships sailed away, the first legally sanctioned free black community in the United States disappeared.

Credit: Courtesy of Funcación Nao Victoria

Join WXXI and its partner, Friends of Ganondagan, for a free screening of this film that follows a team of archaeologists, scientists and historians to reveal colonial America’s Spanish roots.

WXXI and Friends of Ganondagan host a free screening of Secrets of Spanish Florida – A Secrets of the Dead Special at the Little Theatre on Monday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m. The documentary uncovers a story of America’s past in Spanish Florida: The surprising discoveries about the native tribes of Florida and the interactions with the earliest Spanish settlers, and an underground railroad running south—to lead to the first free-black community in Spanish-held La Florida. The film will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Donald Grinde, Professor of American Studies and History at University at Buffalo.

The first permanent European settlement in the United States was founded in 1565–two generations before the settlements in Jamestown and Plymouth–not by English Protestants, but by the Spanish and a melting pot of people they brought with them from Africa, Italy, Germany, Ireland and even converted Jews, who integrated almost immediately with the indigenous tribes. Secrets of Spanish Florida – A Secrets of the Dead Special uncovers one story of America’s past. Follow some of America’s leading archaeologists, maritime scientists, and historians as they share the story of Florida’s earliest settlers. It’s a story that has taken more than 450 years to reveal.

Moderator and Panelist bios:

Dr. Donald Grinde is Professor of American Studies and History at University at Buffalo, New York and is noted for his scholarship and writing on Native American Issues. Dr. Grinde is from Georgia and has Yamasee heritage. He was an undergraduate at Georgia Southern University and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. He taught at Buffalo State College, UCLA, the University of Utah, University of California, Riverside, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and the University of Vermont before moving to Buffalo in 2004. He has published widely on Native American topics, with a particular emphasis on study of the Iroquois Confederation(Haudenosaunee). Grinde and Bruce E. Johansen became known for their works showing a connection from the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois to the drafting of the United States Constitution.

Thomas J. Lappas is Professor of History at Nazareth College.  He teaches classes on American Colonial History, the American Revolution, Native American History, and the History of Alcohol, Temperance, and Gender in American History. His research interests range from the colonial period in New France and New England to the temperance efforts by Native Americans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently working on a book about the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Native American communities. 

Pablo Miguel Sierra Silva received his doctorate from UCLA in 2013 and is currently assistant professor of History at the University of Rochester. His first book, Urban Slavery in Colonial Mexico (which will be published by Cambridge University Press in March 2018), examines the social and familial networks of enslaved Africans, Asians and their descendants in the city of Puebla during the long seventeenth century. His current research is focused on Mexico’s colonial relationship with diverse Atlantic communities through contraband, piracy and slavery during the late seventeenth century. The project centers on the 1683 bucaneer raid of Veracruz and the kidnapping of its African descent population. He is attempting to chart that population’s complex experiences in Curação, Barbados, St. Domingue and, most notably, Charleston, South Carolina.

Funding for this program was provided, in part, by The Lastinger Family Foundation; The Hough Family Foundation; Weaver Family Foundation Fund, through The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida; and The Joy McCann Foundation. Funding for SECRETS OF THE DEAD is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by public television viewers. Also supported by a production of Small Planet Pictures Inc., Investigative Media Group Inc., and 1186 Pictures in association with the University of Florida Historic St. Augustine, Inc. and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

Special thanks to our partner:

Secret of the Spanish Florida will also air on WXXI-TV on Tuesday, December 26 at 9 p.m.

Video Trailer: