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Was Beethoven Black?

 

Why This Theory Took Off

For over a century, scholars, composers, and activists have hotly debated over Ludwig van Beethoven’s race. Here’s what the actual evidence says.

Nearly 200 years after Ludwig van Beethoven’s death, some people still speculate about the legendary composer’s race. Though Beethoven is typically portrayed as a white man, some claim that he was actually Black.

How The Theory About Beethoven’s Race Spread

Public DomainThough he’s often depicted with fair skin, Beethoven’s “dark” complexion was noted by his contemporaries.

“I, frankly, don’t need any more debates about Beethoven’s Blackness. But I do need people to play the music of Bridgetower. And others like him.”

 

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