Tomorrow we’re talking to Caitlin Doughty, mortician and author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory. She’s also got a youTube series called “Ask A Mortician.”
By golly gee! I keep forgetting that Black people didn’t exist until the Fresh Prince of Bel Air came on television! Or that Black people existed in anywhere else than Africa even with slavery going on :) My apologies.
Anyway, here’s proof that Beethoven was Black:
"… Said directly, Beethoven was a black man. Specifically, his mother was a Moor, that group of Muslim Northern Africans who conquered parts of Europe—making Spain their capital—for some 800 years.
In order to make such a substantial statement, presentation of verifiable evidence is compulsory. Let’s start with what some of Beethoven’s contemporaries and biographers say about his brown complexion:
(Louis Letronne, Beethoven, 1814, pencil drawing.)
"Frederick Hertz, German anthropologist, used these terms to describe him: ‘Negroid traits, dark skin, flat, thick nose.’
Emil Ludwig, in his book ‘Beethoven,’ says: ‘His face reveals no trace of the German. He was so dark that people dubbed him Spagnol [dark-skinned].’
Fanny Giannatasio del Rio, in her book ‘An Unrequited Love: An Episode in the Life of Beethoven,’ wrote ‘His somewhat flat broad nose and rather wide mouth, his small piercing eyes and swarthy [dark] complexion, pockmarked into the bargain, gave him a strong resemblance to a mulatto.’Beethoven’s death mask: profile and full face
C. Czerny stated, ‘His beard—he had not shaved for several days—made the lower part of his already brown face still darker.’
Following are one word descriptions of Beethoven from various writers: Grillparzer, ‘dark’; Bettina von Armin, ‘brown’; Schindler, ‘red and brown’; Rellstab, ‘brownish’; Gelinek, ‘short, dark.’
In Alexander Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, vol.1, p. 134, the author states, “there is none of that obscurity which exalts one to write history as he would have it and not as it really was. The facts are too patent.” On this same page, he states that the German composer Franz Josef Haydn was referred to as a “Moor” by Prince Esterhazy, and Beethoven had “even more of the Moor in his looks.’ On p. 72, a Beethoven contemporary, Gottfried Fischer, describes him as round-nosed and of dark complexion. Also, he was called ‘der Spagnol’ (the Spaniard).
Other “patent” sources, of which there are many, include, but are not limited to, Beethoven by Maynard Solomon, p.78. He is described as having “thick, bristly coal-black hair” (in today’s parlance, we proudly call it ‘kinky’) and a ‘ruddy-complexioned face.’ In Beethoven: His Life and Times by Artes Orga, p.72, Beethoven’s pupil, Carl Czerny of the ‘School of Velocity’ fame, recalls that Beethoven’s ‘coal-black hair, cut a la Titus, stood up around his head [sounds almost like an Afro]. His black beard…darkened the lower part of his dark-complexioned face.’
Engraving by Blasius Hofel, Beethoven, 1814, color facsimile of engraving after a pencil drawing by Louis Letronne. This engraving was regarded in Beethoven’s circle as particularly lifelike. Beethoven himself thought highly of it, and gave several copies to his friends.
Beethoven, the Black Spaniard(read more here)
They whitewashed BEETHOVEN? O_O
Thank you, history/fact-checking Tumblr.
I now feel the need to go burn every white-skinned image of Beethoven I can find.
LOL This is what happens: “According to Hitler and Goebbels (Hitler’s second in command), the three master composers that represented good German music were Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, and Anton Bruckner. ” Look at who was number 1. I guess he was a conservative, he didn’t bother with research either.
this post fucked me up.
It is possible that Beethoven had some recent African ancestry. I think it would be awesome if he did. But it is unlikely, given what is known with some certainty about both his paternal and maternal lineage — and the website cited in this thread certainly does not constitute “proof” as it plainly claims.
It states with surety that Beethoven’s mother was “a Moor,” which is demonstrably false. Her name was Maria Magdalena Keverich, and she came from a well-to-do German family of the Rheinland. Their genealogy is well-documented, and portraiture of her, as well as written descriptions, evidence no African features.
Beethoven’s father Johann was half-Flemish, half-German, and Ludwig seems to have inherited most of his “Negroid features” (again quoting the website), which is to say his distinctive complexion and bone structure, from him — as Beethoven’s mother is described as tall and thin, with long, sharp features, whereas comparisons of portraits of Beethoven with those of his father are more telling. Some of Beethoven’s decidedly un-Austrian physical characteristics could have been the result, more feasibly, of Spanish ancestry out of the Low Countries, which might also have included a small African component — but, again, there is no proof at all.
Beethoven wrote many candid letters and kept quite personal journals. In none of these prolific writings is there the first clear mention of any ancestry unusual for that time and place.
It is not surprising that the Viennese considered Beethoven’s look exotic, as his dark hair and dark, pock-marked skin were not the norm in that town, particularly not among the aristocracy. He also had broad, flat facial features as both life and death masks demonstrate — but these are not at all necessarily traits from a close African lineage.
I’m all for the project of pointing out whitewashing where it exists, but not for authors creating it where it doesn’t in order to sell books.