Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2017-11-15 17:00Z by Steven

Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Oneworld Publications
2017-11-14
352 pages
2.8 x 2.8 cm
ISBN-13: 978-1786071842

Miranda Kaufmann, Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study
University of London

A black porter publicly whips a white English gentleman in a Gloucestershire manor house. A heavily pregnant African woman is abandoned on an Indonesian island by Sir Francis Drake. A Mauritanian diver is despatched to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose… Miranda Kaufmann reveals the absorbing stories of some of the Africans who lived free in Tudor England. From long-forgotten records, remarkable characters emerge. They were baptised, married and buried by the Church of England. They were paid wages like any other Tudors. Their stories, brought viscerally to life by Kaufmann, provide unprecedented insights into how Africans came to be in Tudor England, what they did there and how they were treated. A ground-breaking, seminal work, Black Tudors challenges the accepted narrative that racial slavery was all but inevitable and forces us to re-examine the seventeenth century to determine what caused perceptions to change so radically.

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Tudor, English and black – and not a slave in sight

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-11-04 22:05Z by Steven

Tudor, English and black – and not a slave in sight

The Guardian
2017-10-29

Bidisha


Black musicians in a Portuguese painting of The Engagement of St Ursula and Prince Etherius, c 1520. Photograph: Bridgemanimages.com

From musicians to princes, a new book by historian Miranda Kaufmann opens a window on the hitherto unknown part played by black people in 16th-century England

Within moments of meeting historian Miranda Kaufmann, I learn not to make flippant assumptions about race and history. Here we are in Moorgate, I say. Is it called that because it was a great hub of black Tudor life? “You have to be careful with anything like that,” she winces, “because, for all you know, this was a moor. It’s the same with family names and emblems: if your name was Mr Moore, you’d have the choice between a moorhen or a blackamoor. It wouldn’t necessarily say something about your race.”

Her answer – meticulous, free of bombast, dovetailing memorable details with wider issues – is typical of her first book Black Tudors: The Untold Story, which debunks the idea that slavery was the beginning of Africans’ presence in England, and exploitation and discrimination their only experience. The book takes the form of 10 vivid and wide-ranging true-life stories, sprinkled with dramatic vignettes and nice, chewy details that bring each character to life.

Africans were already known to have likely been living in Roman Britain as soldiers, slaves or even free men and women. But Kaufmann shows that, by Tudor times, they were present at the royal courts of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James I, and in the households of Sir Walter Raleigh and William Cecil. The book also shows that black Tudors lived and worked at many levels of society, often far from the sophistication and patronage of court life, from a west African man called Dederi Jaquoah, who spent two years living with an English merchant, to Diego, a sailor who was enslaved by the Spanish in Panama, came to Plymouth and died in Moluccas, having circumnavigated half the globe with Sir Francis Drake

Read the entire article here.

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Black Tudors review – hidden lives revealed

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-11-04 21:40Z by Steven

Black Tudors review – hidden lives revealed

The Guardian
2017-10-15

Anita Sethi


Miranda Kaufmann: black Tudor lives matter. Photograph: Rosie Collins

Miranda Kaufmann’s account of the lives of 10 black people who made their homes in Tudor England sheds new light on our island’s story

Why and how did they come to England? How were they treated? What were their lives like? These are the questions that Miranda Kaufmann perceptively probes in Black Tudors. This account of people of African descent in Renaissance England overturns misconceptions, showing that “it is vital to understand that the British Isles have always been peopled with immigrants”. She concentrates on 10 individuals, ranging widely in social class and location, from cities to the countryside, including a royal trumpeter, a porter, a silk weaver, and an independent single woman. Meticulous research draws on sources from letters to legal papers, and Kaufmann also reflects on the challenges: “Fleshing out these biographies from the meagre documentation that remains is not easy, but it is a mission that must be undertaken if we are to reclaim their stories”. The detail she unearths brings to life those absent from the pages of history…

Read the entire article here.

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Miranda Kaufmann Lecture ‘Africans in Port Towns – 1500-1640’

Posted in History, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Religion, United Kingdom on 2014-10-10 21:21Z by Steven

Miranda Kaufmann Lecture ‘Africans in Port Towns – 1500-1640’

University of Greenwich
Queen Anne 180 – Greenwich Campus
Greenwich, England
Wednesday, 2014-10-15, 18:00-19:00 BST (Local Time)

Dr. Miranda Kaufmann will explore the lives of Africans in 16th and 17th century England and Scotland’s port towns, explaining how they arrived in Britain and how they were treated by the church, the law courts and the other inhabitants.

Dr. Miranda Kaufmann will explore the lives of Africans in 16th and 17th century England and Scotland’s port towns, explaining how they arrived in Britain, what occupations and relationships they found in the ports and how they were treated by the church, the law courts and the other inhabitants.

For more information, click here.

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