Hey, for that "Beethoven can't be black since he's German" debate, someone actually has proof about it. It has some sources too if you're interested. whitepeoplestealingculture(.) tumblr (.) com/post/96652964321/im-confused-about-what-beethoven-was-doing-in-the
This isn’t about “proof”; how we would racially classify someone who’s been dead for centuries isn’t something that can be proven or disproven. What this is actually about is white supremacy and people like this person who say stuff like “can poc stop trying to take credit for the achievements of white people”.
I mean, if anyone had any doubts left on why an American blogger writes about European art and history, it’s that right there. White Americans have been taught that they are entitled to claim European cultural accomplishments of the past, merely by virtue of being born white. It’s very connected to a quote that struck me from this article:
The myth of the monochrome Middle Ages, in which the medieval is originary, pure, and white, transcends geographical and temporal boundaries. It is attached, through supposed biological descent, to white bodies, wherever and whenever they go, even into the apparently non-corporeal digital realms of fan-forums, television and video-games.
I have multiple messages about Beethoven right now, from people asking me to confirm one way or the other what race Beethoven would be considered today. I believe he would be considered mixed-race. That is definitely what people who knew him personally have said in primary documents that survive. But once again, this isn’t something that is subject to words like “proof”:
A last note: “German” is a nationality, not a race. The sheer amount of times that I have had to explain to people that every single human being living inside a political border isn’t going to be the same race should be shocking, but sadly, it’s probably not.
For folks interested in musicians and composers of color in European history, check out the “Music" tag.
A little bit of background re Beethoven and race.
Ox Baker's in bad shape. His daughter set up a gofundme page for medical/funeral expenses.
Ox, if it’s your time to go, know that you struck terror into the heart of a young boy who loved to get that fear from TV villains doing their depths-of-evil schtick: which is to say, you inspired me.
And if it’s not your time yet, all that’s still true. Thanks Ox Baker. You brought a vision to life.
The photo of Ox on that page is heartbreaking, as is the fact a man who did as much for wrestling as he did could be in such need.
I wonder how many people got into computer programming because of the movie The Matrix only to find the field to be as disappointing and confusing as The Matrix Reloaded.
Do you think C.L.R James "The Black Jacobins" is a serious and valid source on Toussaint Louverture?
Hello. Thank you for your question.
First, it’s always good to pay attention to the subtitles of books you browse. In this case: “Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution” seems to suggests that the book will indeed deal with the leadership of Toussaint Louverture in the Haitian Revolution.
Second, C.L.R. James was a very important (Marxist/Socialist) intellectual in his time and I have to say, I am always surprised to see how little recognition he seems to be enjoying in the United States (i’m guessing his political affiliations may have something to do with it, but still). * I am only making this comment to state that he is a very authoritative source and even today (more than 6 decades after its release) The Black Jacobins is considered a classic and one of the most complete analysis of the Haitian Revolution.
That being said, not so long ago, I saw a post on Tumblr on how this was a very important book on Toussaint Louverture and Black Power, as much as i agree with the first clause, I’m hardly convinced by the second and I wonder what some people got from their own reading. I think that more than anything else, this was a book about placing the Haitian Revolution and radical figures like Toussaint Louverture inside a broder discussion of the French Revolution, which was something few people had attempted to do seriously. This books helps us see how the language of universal (or not so universal) freedom embedded in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen greatly affected individuals in Saint-Domingue. In the end, once we place the events in Saint-Domingue back into this contingency, we see that even before Napoleon’s seizure of power, most French revolutionaries (although not all) could not reconcile the principales of their own Revolution and the slave insurrection (which is even more important to note, considering slavery had been abolished by February 1794). So, we should be careful when we read this book to remember part of the aims of the author (which are not kept a secret at all from the reader.) That we can see the Haitian Revolution as an event that transcended the frontiers of Saint-Domingue/Haiti in asserting the humanity of Blacks throughout the Atlantic (and hence give it a ”Black Power” resonance) is one thing, but to extend that meaning to C.L.R. James’ book is another. (I mean if that is so, what do we make then of all the class connections he makes with the slaves and the French sans-culottes?)
At any rate, to go back to your original question, this is indeed a valid source on Louverture but i don’t think our understanding of the book should be limited to the person of Toussaint. I’m sure you will enjoy this book and I highly recommend you also read some reviews or historiographical essays on the Haitian Revolution (a lot of them are freely available on the web).
Good day. :)
Apologies are a start, but please explain, dear Economist, how this review made it to publication in the first place? It was contrarian for the sake of being so, and intellectually dishonest at that.
As for the reviewer’s contention that advocacy cannot be history, I would suggest he read up on his Howard Zinn.