WXXI and Friends of Ganondagan will screen “Secrets of Spanish Florida: A Secrets of the Dead Special” at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 at Little Theatre, 240 East Ave., Rochester.
The documentary shares discoveries about the native tribes of Florida, their interactions with Spanish settlers and an underground railroad that led to the first free black community in Spanish-held La Florida.
Donald Grinde, professor of American studies and history at University at Buffalo, will moderate a discussion after the free screening with Thomas Lappas, professor of history at Nazareth College, and Pablo Miguel Sierra Silva, assistant professor of history at University of Rochester.
The first permanent European settlement in the U.S. was founded in 1565 — two generations before the settlements in Jamestown and Plymouth — by the Spanish and those they brought from Africa, Italy, Germany and Ireland as well as 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 that never made it into textbooks. Viewers will follow archaeologists, maritime scientists and historians as they share the story of Florida’s earliest settlers.
WXXI-TV will air the film at 9 p.m. on Dec. 26. Visit interactive.wxxi.org/events for information.