Extraordinary Lives – the Untold History of African Europeans, with Olivette Otele9 Nov 2020 – 18:30 pm - 19:30 pm
Spanning two millennia and encompassing a cast that includes the Queen of Sheba and a Roman Emperor, Alessandro de Medici and Aleksandr Pushkin, the complete story of African Europeans has never been told – until now.
As early as the third century, St Maurice—an Egyptian—became leader of the legendary Roman Theban Legion. Ever since, there have been richly varied encounters between those defined as ‘Africans’ and those called ‘Europeans’. The history of African Europeans is vibrant and complex, just as it is brutal; the trajectories of their lives are embedded in art and architecture, religious artefacts and literature.
One of the world’s leading authorities on the history of people of African descent in Europe and an exceptionally gifted storyteller, Professor Olivette Otele joins us to shed light upon a history that has been long overlooked, tracing a long African European heritage through the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary: from Emperor Septimius Severus, to enslaved Africans living in Europe during the Renaissance, all the way to present-day migrants moving to Europe’s cities.
From the intellectuals of Renaissance Granada to grime artists in twenty-first century Britain, African European identities have continuously evolved. Making sense of connections across time and space and debunking myths, this talk will uncover a forgotten past in order to help us imagine a better future.