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Ludwig van Beethoven
via Smithsonian Magazine

Was Beethoven Black? Probably Not, but These Unsung Composers Were

“[Kira Thurman] says she can’t speak to the question of Beethoven’s race. However, she suggested that those who focused on whether or not the composer was black are missing an important part of the picture: the number of black composers, including [George] Bridgetower, Beethoven’s contemporary and friend, who have received relatively little attention in history and popular culture up to this point.”

Smithsonian Magazine covers the recent resurgence of the debate, “Was Beethoven Black?,” with contributions from Kira Thurman, Member (2019–20) in the School of Historical Studies, whose Twitter thread on the question went viral last week.

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine, and find Thurman’s thread below.

June 26, 2020