Real History: People of Color Were There

The history of Europe and North America is often imagined and presented in media as if it was primarily, or solely, a White story. Yet, People of Color have been present in a variety of social positions, and part of the family, throughout. Among many ways to explore this reality, here's a few perspectives to consider.


People Of Color In European Art History - Often, there is the false impression that Europe historically was an all-white place. Click the link to explore the work of an art historian using art as a tool to document the fact that Black people not only existed in medieval Europe, but existed in a variety of roles and positions. This is a very rich site. Check out the tabs along the right side of the homepage to drill down into the wealth of images.
8 Stunning Images Of Black People In Medieval Europe - Think of the last time you watched a period movie set in England during the middle ages. Most likely people of color were noticeably absent. But, like the unseen 92 percent of the iceberg that lies below ocean’s water, there was more color than meets the eye.
Revealing The African Presence In Renaissance Europe - Short video overview of art exhibit at Princeton University.
Archeological evidence of Africans in Roman-era Britain - Given the vast reach of the Roman Empire, the presence of a diverse population in Britain during Roman times should not be a surprise. But it likely is to many people.
10 European Kings, Queens and Noblemen Who Would Be Considered Black by the ‘One Drop’ Rule - This article includes both cases of factual proof and some that historians debate, but it serves to suggest a richer picture of European royalty than is often served up in school.
African-American Women Leaders in the Suffrage Movement - Black women's contributions to the women's suffrage movement are often ignored or little-known, but they were leaders.
Matthew Henson: African-American Arctic Explorer - He may have been the first man, black or white, to reach the North Pole.
7 Amazing Black Explorers Who Made A Mark In History - Exploration has always included Black explorers, even if White Europeans have gotten most of the notice.
American Descendants - A photography project showcasing iconic images in American history that are not white and male.
Annette Gordon Reed: The Contradictions of Thomas Jefferson - Fascinating 30-minute interview with Annette Gordon-Reed, Professor of History at Harvard University, and author of The Hemingses of Monticello. Of related interest is Jefferson's Children, a 40-minute video from BookTV/C-Span presentation by Shannon Lanier and Jane Feldman talking about their book Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family. The co-authors interviewed, and Ms. Feldman photographed, dozens of descendants of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings clan, of which Mr. Lanier is a member.