eamo2747 said: I'm confused about what Beethoven was doing in the black composers post. He was German.
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.
White people’s inability to deal with black genius is astounding.
As a young writer, Alcott concentrated on lurid pulp stories of revenge, murder, and adultery–“blood and thunder” literature, as she called i–and enjoyed writing very much. She was in her mid 30s when an editor suggested she try writing a book for girls. Alcott wasn’t very interested, but her father was a complete moron with money and had left the family in terrible financial trouble. Alcott wrote Little Women in hopes of some decent sales and a little breathing room and got way more than she asked for. The money in sequels was too good to turn down (and her father didn’t get any smarter with a dime), but Alcott hated writing what she called “moral pap for the young” and longed to return to the smut and violence of her early endeavors. Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Books and Authors You Had to Read in High School (via bookriot)
I wish I was a female tiger because then if I was talking to someone and I was getting off topic I could say “but I tigress,” and then kill and eat them because I am a tiger
I hope one day to do anything with as much confidence as Aaron Tveit’s entrance in “One Day More” at the Oscars
do you ever stop to think what it would be like if the dursleys were nice to harry? what if their reason for hating magic wasn’t simply that it was magic and they were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much but that it took petunia’s sister away from her and then killed her? what if it wasn’t even really hatred bc wizards are different and not normal but accumulated pain and fear bc some wizards kill?
imagine harry actually being able to call priver drive his home. imagine him having a room like any other kid and playing with dudley and eating full meals every day. imagine dudley defending harry instead of being the one to bully him. imagine the dursleys celebrating harry’s birthdays as well, having his pictures on the walls next to dudley’s, buying him new clothes, hugging him. imagine if they actually told him the truth about his parents, that they had magic and they were killed but they loved him so so much. imagine harry being able to talk with petunia about his mother, to hear stories about her childhood and what was she liked and that he has her eyes and they’re beautiful. imagine harry getting to read his letter at breakfast and be excited bc he’s like his mum and dad, he has magic too.
imagine harry knowing love from the very start.
but now think about this happy harry who would have a family to go back to and ask yourself: would he be so eager to sacrifice himself in the forest? would it be so easy for him to accept death? would there be any reason for him to do just that? of course not. and of course dumbledore knew all that. if the dursleys were indeed nice people dumbledore would probably find a different place for harry bc he needed him broken, he needed him selfless to the point where it’s unhealthy, he needed him to be the weapon to kill voldemort and nobody cares if weapons get a happy childhood, they’re just weapons after all.
Imagine Harry and Ginny a few months into their marriage and they’re so happy and in love and then one day they go shopping for food and household items and Harry just casually grabs certain items before Ginny hisses at him to "Check the prices, Harry, God! That bed set is far too expensive, we’re not going to have anything left to get the food with!" And Harry starts to laugh and say "We don’t have to worry about -" and then he stops and he and Ginny look at each other. And Harry realizes that she’s grown up having to measure out all her money and decide what she can and cannot have for a certain week or month or year. And Ginny realizes that she is actually no longer obligated to worry about money ever again.
Imagine Harry and Ginny eating dinner together and Ginny’s telling him about certain meals her mum made and teasing him about how he wolfs everything down and "Honestly Harry, you’re worse than Ron!" and Harry retorts laughingly "well old habits die hard, I had to fight Dudley for meals all the time, you at least knew you were going to eat every day!" And Ginny’s grin starts to fade and she asks "You…you didn’t get to eat everyday?" And Harry realizes what he said and he changes the subject quickly and Ginny looks at the plates in front of him and resists the urge to pile on some more potatoes. And the next day Vernon Dursley’s car is egged.
Imagine Harry and Ginny both suffering from night terrors and PTSD and agreeing that maybe going to that therapist Hermione recommended isn’t such a bad idea, and that’s how Thursday night became Therapy Night when they go out to dinner or to the pub after each session and agree that they need to talk to some Healers about introducing these sessions since therapy is still widely seen as muggle nonsense in the wizarding world.
And Ginny murmurs over her fire whiskey that sometimes she can still hear Tom Riddle murmuring in her ear, and Harry whispers that he dreams about running after his mother and father and Sirius and Remus as they disappear behind the Veil in the Department of Mysteries and he doesn’t know if he wakes from terror or regret about not making it through. And they go back home and hold each other closer that night and both wake up with raging hangovers.