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.
beethoven was totally black! how do people not know this?
jk because erasure
I have been playing Beethoven’s music for 10+ years now and had absolutely no idea he was black.
My life has been a lie.
OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT.
I HAVE A BACHELOR DEGREE IN MUSIC, MY MAJOR WAS “MUSIC HISTORY, THEORY, AND LITERATURE”
I TOOK MULTIPLE CLASSES SPECIFICALLY IN BEETHOVEN’S STRING QUARTETS AND MY SCHOOL HAD AN INTERNATIONAL BEETHOVEN SYMPOSIUM WHERE THERE WERE PAPERS ON THINGS LIKE THE KIND OF FUCKING PAAAAAAPER HE DID HIS MANUSCRIPTS ON, IN DIFFERENT CITIES, TO SEE WHERE AND WHEN HE WROTE SPECIFIC SNIPPETS OF MUSIC.
NEVER IN MY EDUCATION OR READINGS DID I EITHER
A) NOTICE THIS
B) WAS SPECIFICALLY TOLD THIS.
I think there’s a combination of systemic racism in this, and my own internalized racism. I have, in fact, read Maynard Solomon’s biography and didn’t pick up on this. I have read the Czerny sources as well. My Beethoven teacher (Bill Kinderman) is one of the top Beethoven scholars in the world, and I don’t remember hearing any of this from him.
I even did a semester of graduate work in musicology, specifically focusing on the Beethoven string quartets (I really fucking love those things) and we never spoke about this.
I cannot say I am in any way surprised at this. I am embarrassed, angry, and upset that this was erased from my DECADES of music education.
Which doesn’t surprise me at all, because classical music is very specifically in our culture for white people, especially men, especially upper class white men.
Oof, this one is going to take a while to fully fucking digest, I am in angry tears.
Holy shit. One of the greatest musical minds of all time and he got whitewashed.
The truth needs to be spread.
Johnny Carson voice: “I did not know that.”
This isn’t the first time that I’ve read on tumblr that Beethoven was black, but I feel compelled to reblog it now because casually scrolling past evidence of erasure and noting it is not enough. I’d love to see a documentary about this.
I’m getting my fucking MASTERS in music, and have taken two courses, have read at least 5 books, and have written two papers on Beethoven and did not fucking know this. I’m also sure that if I went to school on monday I would be ignored and looked down upon if I brought up this information, proabably told something along the lines of “un reliable resources”
What the FUCKING FUCK!?
You people are fucking morons. It says quite a bit about how higher education should be restricted to the intelligent and inquisitive, not merely the above average. It’d be more accurate to say you’re over-emotional half-wits ready to believe anything that causes moral indignation and a sense of moral superiority. Never mind actually investigating these claims, just brush would-be objections as brushing off.
We know Beethoven’s genealogy. From Donald MacArdle’s work:
His father was Johann Van Beethoven, son of Lodewyck van Beethoven and Maria Josepha Pols. Loedwyck, the son of Michael van Beethoven and Mary Louise Stuyckers, Michael the son of Cornelius Van Beethoven and Catherine van Leempoel, Cornelius the son of Marcus van Beethoven and Sara Haesaerts. After that we are not certain but it is believed we can trace the ancestry back at least three generations, all Flemish names, all living around Mechelen. van Beethoven may have been a noble family in the 13th and 14th centuries around the vicinity of Liège, until war brought them to poverty.
His mother was Maria Magdalena Keverich, daughter of Heinrich Keverich who was born in Ehrenbreitstein in 1701 and worked as a cook at the electoral court there where his father and maternal grandfather also served. Heinrich’s wife was Maria Klara Westorff, daughter of senator Johann Bernard Westorff.
How does this prove the great composer had no black ancestors? Because the accusation is that Ludwig van Beethoven had a Moorish ancestor who had come over from Spain as part of the Spanish rule of Southern Netherlands. Only there are no Spanish surnames in his ancestry. Only Dutch (mostly Flemish) and German, and even the German was a recent addition from his mother’s side.
The only blank spot in his pedigree is his paternal grandmother, Maria Josepha Pols. We do not know her parents or have her baptismal records. But Pols is a Dutch surname. So her father was Dutch, but maybe her mother was Spanish and Moor (simply because she was Spanish does not mean she was a Moor. "Moors" proper had been expelled from Spain, beginning in 1609, regardless of whether they converted to Christianity).
The probability Maria’s mother was Spanish is low, bordering on impossible. Lodewyck married Maria in Bonn, before that we have no records of her. Perhaps her Dutch family had lived in Germany for some generations, in which case her lack of black ancestry is certain. However, given Lodewyck married her within seven months of living in Bonn, it’s likely she left with him. If she had been born in the Netherlands, her lack of Spanish blood is still certain, for Spain had lost nearly all of Flanders (the Dutch portion of “Belgium”) in the War of Spanish Succession by 1706, thanks to the many victories of the Duke of Marlborough. What little of the Spanish troops there were in Flanders (most of Felipe V’s forces in Flanders were allied French or Bavarian. Indeed the war began with French troops from the du Dauphin Regiment occupying Mechelen) would have been in retreat by 1708. Maria Josepha Pols was 19 on her and Lodewyck’s wedding day in 1733, meaning she was born in 1714, so she was likely part of the baby boom that follows the end of any war, as the Treaty of Utrecht securing Flanders for the Austrian Habsburgs from Spain was signed in 1713. So there was no Spanish presence in Flanders when she was born and hadn’t been for years.
The final nail in the coffin is again, Pols mother would have to be Spanish, and a single Spanish Moorish woman by her lonesome in Flanders would have been incredibly odd. The best chances for any Spanish blood in Beethoven would have been from a Spanish soldier, not a woman. And again the portion of Spanish soldiers in the Netherlands at this time would have been small, and any portion that were black, even smaller. Hence the chances of a black Spanish woman being Beethoven’s great-grandmother border on impossible, but the Spanish defeat and withdrawal from Flanders makes it absolutely impossible
Even if the stars are right, this would mean Beethoven was 1/16th “Moorish” - hardly “black”
At the time anyone with dark features was called a Moor, most prominently Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, patron of da Vinci and commissioned The Last Supper despite having no Moorish ancestry, merely dark features. Dark is relative. The Irish called Danes “dark” because they were darker than Norwegians. Russians call Caucasians “black”:
But thats because Russians are very blonde, having a higher rate of light hair than the European average even with their dark minorities.
Beethoven simply had dark features that were noticed in blonde Austria. He had a flat nose, but not exactly black as you can see from the life mask. His lips were thin and his hair merely wild, not curly/kinky. He was short and broad-faced like his grandfather Lodewyck, who was purely Flemish
Here’s some White people with flat broad noses:
It’s not common but it occurs.
Note that the proponents of this nonsense only use deliberately darkened portraits of Beethoven, or with bad resolution:
Dark but hardly black.
This supposed whitewashing would have begun when Beethoven was 13:
Beethoven apparently never took objection to portraits that “whited” his features, nor ever demanded they portray him more realistically. The accusation comes that portraits at the time portrayed the ideal not the real, yet Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was never whitewashed. This is the whine of using evidence you like and dismissing what you don’t.
This is all a cover up or you’re all a bunch of mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers. The latter is true regardless and the former is impossible.
Historians of black music (black themselves) like Dominique-Rene de Lerma currently on the music history faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Wisconsin’s Lawrence University and Josephine Wright, Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, Professor of Music at College of Wooster don’t believe Beethoven to have been black.
OP’s source is hilarious. It alleges the house in Vienna Beethoven lived in for the last year and a half of his life was named Schwarzspanierhaus (house of the black Spaniard) for him, when it had held that name for centuries because Spanish Dominican friars once lived there, the name more accurately translating to House of the Black-Robed Spaniards.
Again, its a crime that idiots like you are allowed to be educated.
omg lol theese black geniuses :D