Black history

Explore the histories of Black people in Europe with stories and content from Europeana

Notable people

collage showing artwork of Juan de Pareja by Diego Velázquez, photograph of Nellie Cooman and image of Toussaint Louverture
Exhibition
Black lives in Europe

The stories and achievements of Black figures from the past to the present

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Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre

Discover the history of a modern dance theatre that helped propel stories of a nation to the world

black and white photograph of Ira Aldridge, who wears formal clothing
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Ira Aldridge

African-American Shakespearean actor and abolitionist who was renowned across Europe

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Josephine Baker

Dancer, spy and freedom fighter - Josephine Baker was a force throughout her life as a performer and activist.

colour portrait of Joseph Bologne, who wears a red coat and holds a sword
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Chevalier de Saint Georges

The life of Joseph Bologne, a French 18th century fencer, soldier and composer

painting of a young Black man who wears a green suit with gold buttons and large white collar, he carries a small box
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Congolese portraits

Three portraits telling a remarkable story of diplomacy and colonial history in the 17th century

black and white photograph of a group of people, women carrying large baskets on their heads and men standing in or beside a small boat
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Augusta and Anna Curiel

Photographer sisters who chronicled early 20th century life in Suriname

black and white portrait of Angela Davis
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Angela Davis

African-American political activist, philosopher and author combatting racism, sexism and homophobia

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Frederick Douglass in Europe

Transatlantic perspectives on American abolitionist and anti-slavery campaigner

grainy black and white photograph of Leone Jacovacci who flexes his arm muscles
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Leone Jacovacci

Afro-Italian boxer who was Italian champion in the 1920s, angering fascists

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Fashion designer Patrick Kelly

African-American fashion designer who broke barriers in the European fashion industry

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Eartha Kitt

Singer, actor and activist known for her distinctive singing style and voice

colourful drawing with many different figures
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Wifredo Lam

Cuban whose art was influenced both by Catholic and African traditions

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Lorde, Baldwin & Roemer

Three Black authors from the Americas who have lived in Europe

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Miriam Makeba, Mama Africa

Singer-songwriter and advocate for the rights of Black people across the world

black and white photograph of Jesse Owens running
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Athlete Jesse Owens

The 1936 Olympic champion who battled poverty and racial bigotry with sporting success

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Confronting oppression

Patrice Lumumba, Mariama Bâ and Fela Kuti's politics, literature and music

Gallery
Black musicians who changed music

Explore a gallery with some of the most influential black musicians that made history

Lives and communities

Gallery
Growing Up Black

The everyday lives of people from the African diaspora captured by photographers.

Gallery
Black people in European art

Explore portrayals of Black people in European art, which are often exoticised, subjugated and minoritised

black and white photograph of a group of footballers who wear suits
Gallery
Black footballers

Photos, films and memorabilia showing Black footballers who have played in teams across Europe

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The Nordic Black Theatre in Oslo

Multicultural theatre company inspiring new generations of performers

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‘Self-pride and knowing yourself'

Exploring moments in the history of Britain’s Black communities

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Mother tongues

Poetry, writing and music in Guadeloupe Creole, Twi, Ewe and Xhosa, four languages of the African diaspora

painting of Aleksander Pushkin
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Mixed-race

The ways in which mixed raced people have contributed to the stories of Europe

A creole woman in a red turban
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Creole culture movement

Kreolitude and what it can bring to people