The Forgotten Legend of Gaspar Yanga

The legend of Gaspar Yanga is a story of emerging triumph amidst hardship and oppression. It is a story that is not widely recognized or perpetuated among our modern culture. Given recent tragedies, and the abundance of turmoil that we are currently facing, I find it imminent to bring his story to light and share what I have found regarding his story. However, I must also stress on the significance of conducting your own research in regard to the rich heritage of black history, you owe it to your ancestors to know about their hardships and unyielding quest to freedom, that they were able to overcome and rise to prominence even in their times of helplessness. 

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Legend has it: that Gaspar Yanga was an African brought to Veracruz (True Cross), a harbor off the gulf coast of Mexico, to work as a slave on sugarcane plantations. Rumored to be of royal lineage tracing back to Nigeria, Ghana or Gabon, though his origin remains uncertain till this day due to the scarcity of historical written records, one thing we are certain about: is that he was one of the first liberators to strategize and mobilize a successful uprising of (runaway slaves and indigenous tribes) towards establishing a free sustainable settlement that thrived on agriculture, farming, and pillages of goods along the Camino Real, between Mexico City and Veracruz. Assuming the responsibility of a spiritual and martial leader, he led his troops to a successful defeat against Spanish troops, who saw his stance as a threat to the colonial paradigm of slavery. In short, Yanga was an intellectual and diplomatic leader who led his people toward the reclamation of the inalienable right of freedom…

This year, it became evident to me how significant the concept of self-image is, in terms of cherishing one’s heritage; knowing where you come from and being aware of the many great things your ancestors have done, goes a long way in instilling a value of embracing one’s destiny and tirelessly working towards its fulfillment. For this reason, I am inspired to embark on a new challenge of delivering new series of short biographies depicting black historical figures who have endured hardship, to bear witness at glory and freedom on the other side of oppression, as well as other pertinent topics or concepts that I wished we would have learned in school. I am sincerely convinced that the power of free curiosity is all an individual needs in acquiring knowledge, because it seems as if this system has tremendously invested in suppressing our stories of triumph, deterring its accessibility; but we still possess the power to seek for ourselves and cherish what we deem to be self-evident. For nothing ever goes unnoticed, it all eventually comes back to light, and that’s the circle of life. 

My sincere intention is to inspire anyone who reads this, to embrace your purpose, because there lies in you an assignment, a future, and a path that will lead you to success. And most of all, remember to be present, be the light, and enjoy the ride…

                                                                                    Until next time… 

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