I grew up near St. Augustine, Florida, where I have family roots dating back to the 1760s, when a group of Minorcans immigrated and eventually settled in nearby Moccasin Branch. The rich (and often untold) history of this region first sparked my interest in the Atlantic World and the connections between the British, Spanish, and U.S. empires.
It led me to study as a curatorial assistant and historical archaeologist on Fort George Island in Florida at the Kingsley Plantation, the home of Zephaniah Kingsley and his wife, Anna Madgigine Jai, a Wolof woman who was purchased by Kingsley as a slave in Havana and freed in 1811. In the summer of 2010, I helped excavate and uncover the location of the slave cemetery, where research is ongoing. The work I focus on now is yet animated by my anthropological training, my interest in the African Diaspora, and the links between Latin America and the Atlantic World.