Twitter users were left reeling this morning at the revelation that classical composer Ludwig Van Beethoven may have been a black man.
The theory has been posited for decades, but is mostly based on speculation. The thinking is that Beethoven’s mother was from Flanders, a Flemish region from Belgium which for some time was under Spanish rule. Spain had a relationship with North Africa at the time, and the idea is that perhaps Beethoven had blackness in his bloodline.
This morning, a piece from the defunct website The Concordian that claimed Beethoven was black resurfaced on Twitter. The piece uses some descriptions of Beethoven from friends and colleagues to back up their theory (though the author admits “I am no Beethoven expert”). Quotes from people describing Beethoven include: “Wide, thick-lipped mouth, short, thick nose, and proudly arched forehead.” “Negroid traits, dark skin, flat, thick nose.” “His face reveals no trace of the German… He was so dark that people dubbed him ‘The Spagnol’ [dark-skinned].”
BEETHOVEN WAS BLACK?? The plot thickens pic.twitter.com/qQMRiJhfI1
— shan 🪐 (@sshandinx) June 18, 2020
I had to listen for myself it all makes sense Beethoven was tuff ! pic.twitter.com/9O2urkzqUz
— Jussmikey⚡️ (@jussmikeyy) June 18, 2020
Niggas after finding out Beethoven was actually black pic.twitter.com/19QyJHUU8z
— IG~ Boltz.Memes 👀 (@boltzmemes) June 18, 2020
I found out Beethoven was black today pic.twitter.com/i1Wjmac6sf
— CMDEUX (@king_savage002) June 18, 2020
When you find out why Beethoven is trending. ✊🏾😂pic.twitter.com/RtMr9Yammp
— DataDave (@DataDaveTV) June 18, 2020
I get this “Beethoven was black” idea is generally non-serious banter, but why waste all that effort to promote a silly conspiracy when you could instead be celebrating ACTUAL black contemporary composers like Saint-Georges, Johnson or Bridgetower who were phenomenal musicians? pic.twitter.com/oxUellCBjB
— Mr. Singh (@Chindiazindabad) June 18, 2020