Although their total numbers in New Mexico were never large, the first African American arrived with a Spanish explorer in the early 1500's. Later, the practice of slavery in New Mexico, whether it should be allowed or not be allowed, was a key point prior to and during the early years of the Civil War. African American trappers, cowboys, and soldiers became key residents in New Mexico's history, which once hosted two communities that were for 'blacks only', Blackdom and Dora (not the present day community of the same name near Portales). Over the years, the black population, lacking political power, learned to rely largely on their own resources and networks, particularly through churches and schools. This class will provide a brief overview, via discussion and film, about the history of African Americans in New Mexico.