Silence = Death1
All lives do not matter until black lives matter. Thanks to the tenacious advocacy of Black Lives Matter activists fed up with centuries of black Americans being dehumanized and erased by a white supremacist culture whose poisonous rhetoric flows into every facet of society via systemic, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized racism, we now know the names of black Americans who have lost their lives at the hands of callous police officers, deplorable vigilantes, and petty criminals. After decades of being fed a steady and obsessive diet of sensational stories about modern-day Desdemonas who have been murdered—Jon Benet Ramsey,8 Nicole Brown Simpson,9 Laci Peterson,10 and Mackenzie Lueck11—activists have harnessed the democratizing powers of social media and asked us if we were willing to show an equal level of distress when black individuals are murdered. The answer, until recently, has been a deafening silence. Or, to quote Portia in Shakespeare’s problem comedy The Merchant of Venice when she rejects the entreaties of the dark-skinned Prince of Morocco: “A gentle riddance. Draw the curtains, go. / Let all of his complexion choose me so” (2.7.86–87).12 Facing such dismissal, Black Lives Matter activism has transcended the digital sphere and permeated city streets and campus quads across the world.
As the United States collectively seethes under the physical, psychological, and political oppression of an executive branch of government that continues to belittle the deep-seated concerns, fears, and hopes of a pluralistic society striving for social justice, we, as professors, need to take a deep look within ourselves, our classes, and our universities to reckon with what we are doing to enact social justice. Those of us who teach medieval and Renaissance studies have a responsibility to ensure that our classrooms are welcoming, our pedagogy is inclusive, and our syllabi, at long last, are accurate. One way to embrace the Black Lives Matter movement in the classroom is to highlight the importance of black lives during the Middles Ages and the Renaissance. My hope is that this article will inspire us to rethink our teaching practices, recalibrate our syllabi, and reenergize our classrooms by underscoring how important it is to offer an inclusive, accurate, and exciting view of Medieval and Renaissance studies.
Duke Alessandro de’ Medici14
Saint Benedict the Moor15
Queen Ana Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba16
Juan de Pareja17
Dido Elizabeth Belle18
I would be willing to bet that most of us who graduated with a PhD in medieval or Renaissance studies probably never heard of any of these black individuals during our coursework. Although they did not die in the same fashion or context as the Americans listed in the opening of this article, their erasure from our textbooks is a result of racist ideologies that have contributed to the issues we face today. How did this happen? How could I have earned a PhD in Renaissance literature from a Top 10 Public R1 University, the University of Florida, without having read Ben Jonson’s Masque of Blackness (1605)? Before it reaffirms Eurocentric tropes, the masque challenges European standards of beauty and celebrates blackness: “Of all dames beauties, in their firm hues, draws / Signs of his fervent’st love ; and thereby shows / That in their black, the perfect’st beauty grows” (113–19)?19 My dissertation adviser, who is white, marched with the Civil Rights Movement. One of my dissertation committee members, who is also white, played African drums on weekends. These are men whom I admire. They were welcoming, generous, and caring to all. But why did we not spend time discussing black lives during our seminars? The same can be asked of me. I too am guilty. I did not ask if there were other black characters we could study besides Othello and Aaron the Moor. I did not ask why my black peers never signed up for seminars on medieval or Renaissance literature. Until recently, I did not ask why the annual conferences of the Sixteenth Century Society & Conference and the Renaissance Society of America have always been a blur of 44 Shades of White, one for each European country from which we or our ancestors hailed.
We say diversity is important. But what does it mean to support diversity? We claim to be inclusive. But how do we manifest inclusive practices in our professional lives?
It is time to feel uncomfortable.
According to a 2019 Pew Research Center report on American higher education, most racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the professoriate compared to the undergraduate population: 6% of faculty are non-Hispanic black while 14% of undergraduates are non-Hispanic black and 5% of faculty are Hispanic while 20% of undergraduates are Hispanic.20 There are many reasons for this disproportionate lack of representation. One issue that we can address as faculty members is the PhD pipeline. Mentoring is essential to ensuring that we have a more diverse group of students earning their PhDs. Likewise, when we serve on hiring committees, we need to ensure that our job search ads circulate widely, use inclusive language, and list salary ranges to avoid discriminatory hiring practices.21 Search committees need to be trained on implicit biases and pay attention to what the professoriate’s most important goal is: educating students. Often times, minority candidates are interviewed so that a search committee can present a “diverse pool of applicants” to its dean only to then reject the minority finalists for a candidate (usually non-Hispanic white) who has a “stronger” research record. Privileging research over teaching is a disservice to the academy. A hierarchy that prioritizes research over teaching repeats the cycle wherein minority professors spend more time teaching and mentoring students,22 especially minority students, while non-Hispanic white professors publish articles and books on topics that purport to serve a purpose greater than teaching undergraduates.23 The underrepresentation of minorities within the professoriate occurs even at federally designated Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI), especially at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). This injustice is crystallized when non-minority faculty members are awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in Title V grants that are earmarked by the US Department of Education for HSIs24 or hundreds of thousands of dollars in research grants that are earmarked by the National Endowment for the Humanities for Historically Black College or Universities (HBCU).25 There are no specifications that the Principal Investigator (PI) or her/his project collaborators are racial or ethnic minorities. If students from underrepresented minority groups do not see themselves in tenured faculty members, how can they have role models for pursuing a career in academia? If there are requirements related to student body demographics to be designated as an HSI,26 then why are there not similar stipulations about faculty body demographics?
One of the key takeaways from the Blacks Lives Matter movement is that those of us who are not black must address the racial lacunae in our lives. On a personal and intellectual level, we must reckon with how our conceptions of race, ethnicity, and skin color shape our epistemological outlook on what we have learned, what we want to learn, and what we want to teach. We must listen to our students and welcome candid conversations with them about race, markers of difference, micro aggressions, bigotry, and how to rectify social injustices—inside and outside of the classroom. None of us are perfect. We all need to examine our past in hopes of creating a more just future.
Perhaps we should follow in the footsteps of video game creators.
Video games such as Fallout 4,27 Ark: Survival Evolved,28 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons29 have accustomed our students to seeing themselves in the characters they play. By texturizing their characters’ hair, coloring their skin, and constructing their gender, students are comfortable immersing themselves in foreign worlds through digital avatars that resemble them. Players invest in their virtual quest with comfort, energy, and perseverance when they can personally connect with the characters they control. Why not help our students do the same in medieval and Renaissance classrooms? Allowing students to identify with class content can be a key to success in the Humanities—especially when we consider required survey courses that students often find irrelevant and unrepresentative. White students can easily see themselves in the portraits, characters, artists, and political leaders we study in the early modern classroom. The connections are personal and tangible. In contrast, a black literature student’s last name might not be Cervantes, a black history student’s hair might not match the curly red locks of Queen Elizabeth I, and a black art history student might not have relatives in Firenze. How do we offer our black students a palpable connection to the European past?
British opera singer Peter Brathwaite underscored the importance of connecting with Europe’s past when he took up the Getty Museum Challenge to recreate famous art works. He posted photos of himself as a modern-day avatar of black men captured in portraits from previous centuries. Brathwaite described the challenge as a “process of rediscovery,” with the Getty Museum explaining that Brathwaite’s work highlighted the misconception in the United Kingdom “that Black history began in England in the 1950s, with Caribbean immigrants known as the Windrush generation. His recreations lay bare the fact that Black people have been a part of the fabric of the U.K., and Europe as a whole, for hundreds of years; but their stories aren’t always told.”30
Such affinities are easily created in the pseudo-Medieval world of Dragon Age: Inquisition31 wherein a player’s black avatar regularly interacts with dozens of dark-skinned characters inhabiting its vast open world.
We need to follow suit.
As professors, we need to do our research and educate ourselves. Blacks were part and parcel of the early modern European experience. To not discuss black lives in the early modern classroom is to ignore facts, rewrite history, and unjustly exclude black students from a history to which their ancestors contributed. Thankfully, the visual nature of online teaching allows us to boost interest in the era by using a more racially inclusive manner.
As a white Associate Professor in the Department of Language, Literature, & Cultural Studies at Bowie State University, which is Maryland’s oldest HBCU, and who never attended an HBCU, I have learned through trial and error as well as through frank and sometimes painfully raw conversations with my students about how to shift my teaching style to be more inclusive and welcoming. In turn, this change has made my classes more relevant, representative, and accurate.
Utilizing digital resources and visual art helps students gain a nuanced understanding of how Europe has long been a globalized terrain where Europeans, Africans, Middle Easterners, and Asians lived, loved, and traded with one another in times of peace, war, and pandemic. As a Hispanic professor, I know the pride I take when early modern Spain’s political and cultural accomplishments are studied. I want to offer our non-Hispanic black students the same gratification. As teacher education program critics have noted, “Many of the foundations and methods courses fail to mention African Americans except as ‘problems.’ Course work that addresses the legitimacy of African American culture and problematizes Whiteness can begin to make preservice course work more meaningful for those who teach African American students.”32 Digital technology facilitates a multifaceted representation of the African presence in early modern Europe. From King Arthur’s Sir Morien to King Henry VII’s John Blanke, noteworthy black characters and historical figures can be explored and enjoyed by students via digital platforms.
Inspired by bell hooks’s vision of a radical pedagogy that privileges lived experience and emotional intelligence, those of us who teach courses in medieval and Renaissance studies can learn from those in Africana/Black Studies who build on students’ personal identities to fulfill both measurable course outcomes and broader social justice imperatives.33 Facing critiques from those that deny the politics inherent in every lesson plan, education experts have recently made it clear that “teaching for social justice is for all pupils, not only those who are poor, minority, or historically disadvantaged by the system but also those whom the system advantages.”34 Hence, while this bricks-and-mortar essay is based on my experience teaching at an HBCU, I strongly believe that these strategies and resources benefit students at any college. Work by scholars such as Dennis Austin Britton,35 Peter Fryer,36 Baltasar Fra-Molinero,37 Peter Erickson,38 Ruben Espinosa,39 Lynn Ramey,40 David Olusoga,41 and M. Lindsay Kaplan42 have demonstrated how a syllabus that incorporates marginalized communities to tell the story of Europe’s politics, literature, art, and religion is not just easy, but essential.
Hybrid and online classes entail more visual stimulation than most face-to-face classes. The shift to remote teaching accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how employing museums, libraries, blogs, and excerpts from streaming series and films are part of the daily regimen of online classes. Paintings flesh out historic figures, archives give voice to marginalized communities, and social media platforms facilitate discussions. From parsing the etymological differences between “blackamoor” and “moor” with the digital Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to analyzing sixteenth-century portraits of black women available on museum’s websites, students find a vital lifeline to comprehending and analyzing medieval and early modern studies by approaching it from a multimedia context that smashes the geopolitical and field-specific borders we have imposed on ourselves.
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we only live once and so much in life is optional. In a study on inclusive teaching in digital spaces that use Open Educational Resources (OER), researchers found that teachers who recognize that students bring “alternative approaches to knowledge and learning” successfully employ pedagogical practices “that harness students’ experience and existing knowledge” in order to “enhance the academic engagement of students in mixed groups.”43 Considering this, why not break the mold and expand our cultural and pedagogical horizons? Let us complement Jonson’s Masque of Blankness (1605) with Albrecht Dürer’s detailed portraits of Afro-Europeans: Portrait of a Black Man (1508), Portrait of Katharina (1521). Let us inspire our British Literature students to wrestle with another language and read a side-by-side translation of María de Zayas’s Desengaños amorosos (1647) to offer comparative analyses of how dark-skinned Africans were written about in non-English European literature. Video games offer players open worlds with a seemingly endless number of side quests, fascinating minutiae, and challenges that strengthen characters’ skills; the classroom should offer similarly boundless cultural horizons for students to explore the past and see themselves thrive in the present.
In the all-encompassing spirit of the Humanities, I will now discuss a smattering of digital resources (links can be found in the footnotes) that can be used in introductory history, art history, literature, and music history courses, among other classes, to incorporate black lives into the medieval and Renaissance classroom.
It is not only important, but easy enough, to highlight real life people of African descent and their presence in European history. One good example is John Blanke. Blanke was a musician who arrived in England with Catherine of Aragon’s court in 1501 and performed at the celebration of Prince Henry’s birth in January 1511. The Westminster Tournament Roll (1511) depicts Blanke riding a horse alongside his fellow trumpeters. His dark skin is unmistakable, and his uniqueness is further emphasized by the turban he wears. Blanke’s prominence in court is recorded in a 1512 document that shows King Henry VII gifting Blanke and his wife a gown of violet cloth, a bonnet, and a hat to celebrate their marriage.44 While black individuals were part of other royal European courts as performers, servants, or enslaved people, it is important to highlight those whose names and likenesses have been recorded. Complementing a discussion of the black characters in Jonson’s Masque of Blackness with real-life individuals such as Blanke or an analysis of Shakespeare’s Othello with portraits of Abd al-Wahid bin Masoud bin Muhammad al-Annuri, a Moroccan ambassador to the Elizabethan court, is essential to fleshing out the fictional characters we study.
- ● The United Kingdom’s National Archives’s webpage John Blanke, Black Trumpeter details Blanke’s history.45
- ● The John Blanke Project is an exciting web-based endeavor that mixes scholarly work, popular press pieces, and crowdsourcing to create a continually updated site that focuses on learning more about Blanke and inviting participants to produce creative content about his life.46
- ● Smithsonian Magazine’s article “Not All Knights of the Round Table Were White” covers the role of black knights in Arthurian legends.47
- ● The Guardian’s article “Is this the real model for Othello?” discusses the 1600 portrait of a Moroccan ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I’s court.48
- ● The Hugh Cipher’s well-sourced blog post “Sir Morien and the Black Presence in Medieval Europe (Or the Real Black Knight)” offers students a good model on how to write a blog post within the non-institutional affiliated Digital Humanities realm.49
- ● The Women’s History article “The Sultana and Her Sisters: Black Women in the British Isles Before 1530” by Sue Niebrzydowski addresses a lacuna of black women’s history in the British Isles.50
Black Europeans not only asserted their agency as individuals and performed prestigious roles, they also held positions of power and authority. When discussing nobility, students should learn about Alessandro de’ Medici, who was the Duke of Florence from 1532 to 1537. His father was a Medici duke and his mother was an African servant, whose name is believed to be Simunetta. Alessandro became the first Medici man to be a hereditary duke of Florence. Catherine Fletcher’s monograph The Black Prince of Florence is the only book-length study of Alessandro, a Medici that has long been forgotten and, Fletcher might argue, shunned by historians and Italians alike.51 Alessandro was known as “Il Moro” (“the “Moor”) because of his dark physical features. Portraits of Alessandro and coins emblazoned with his likeness show a nose that is broader, hair that is curlier, lips that are plumper, and skin that is darker than those of other European princes. It easy for many students to see themselves in Alessandro.
Alessandro’s importance was made palpable when my students and I visited Baltimore’s Walters Museum of Art. There we found Pontormo’s Portrait of Maria Salviati de’ Medici and Giulia de’ Medici (1539)—a portrait of Alessandro’s illegitimate daughter, Giulia, with her guardian Maria Salviati. The curator, Dr. Joaneath Spicer, who met my class to act as our docent, explained that the portrait had been in the museum’s possession since the early 1900s, but it arrived as a portrait of only Salviati. For some reason, someone had painted over Giulia in the nineteenth century. Her portrait was unearthed during a cleaning of the painting in 1937. Through Giulia’s brother, Giulio, Alessandro’s blood still runs in the veins of today’s European royalty, including that of Archduke Carl Christian of Austria and his siblings and their children.52 Again, identifying with history can be transformative. One of my students, Jasmine, was moved by this painting because it looked just like she did when she was a toddler. As someone who is a quarter-black, Jasmine said she never would have imagined seeing a painting of someone that looked like her in an exhibit on Renaissance art. She had found her avatar.
- ● PBS Frontline historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom offers an overview of how some art historians have tried to whitewash Alessandro’s heritage.53
- ● Dr. Joaneath Spicer, Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Art at the Baltimore’s Walters Museum of Art, and was instrumental in helping the stunning Portrait of Maria Salviati de’ Medici and Giulia de’ Medici become one of the museum’s most popular artifacts.54
The trade of enslaved people cannot be ignored, especially when dealing with European history. Before Europeans created the Transatlantic Slave Trade, they regularly enslaved other Europeans, including the Genoese who enslaved Circassians, an ethnic tribe from the Caucus Mountains.55 Thus, the much-hyped, much-misunderstood demonym “Caucasian” that so many white people check as their identity on countless forms should be associated with enslavement, just as much as the “African” identification is. In fact, in visual art, enslaved people were often portrayed as white as in Michelangelo’s Dying Slave series (1513–16). The immediate connection between blacks and slavery evolved slowly. Students can study a powerful portrayal of enslaved Africans in Pietro Tacca’s Monumento dei Quattro mori (1626).56
We must avoid equating the unique horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trade with the practices of white slavery in Europe, but it is nevertheless important to recognize that whites were enslaved in early modern Europe, not just by other whites but also by Africans. The Barbary pirates of Northern Africa regularly raided Europe from south to north and captured white Christians whom they enslaved.57
In the same vein, students should consult the OED to discuss the etymology of the word “slave,” which derives from the Latin sclava. This word is identical to the racial name Sclavus, which reflects the conquest and subjugation of central Europe’s Slavonic populations. As the OED shows, by the ninth century their conquest epitomized subjugation with a “transferred sense.”58 Both the signifier and signified “slave” is rooted in whiteness. Discussing the enslavement of white people should never diminish the holocaust that was the Transatlantic Slave Trade; it should, hopefully, allow those who enjoy white privilege to feel a more personal connection to the plight of enslaved people and consider the effects of intergenerational trauma related to slavery.59
Important note: When discussing slavery, try to use the phrases “enslaved person” or “enslaved people” rather than “slave” or “slaves.”60 An enslaved person was more than just her/his forced servitude. Enslaved people had names, families, histories, aspirations, talents, and multi-faceted personalities. Although we may not know their names and stories, we should allow them to be remembered as a “people” rather than just “slaves.” This shift in language is long overdue but has been slow to take hold. We need to help it along as we continue to dislodge the white-supremacist language and discourse with which we have been raised. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Hard History: American Slavery is an invaluable guide for teachers at all levels.61
- ● The Oxford English Dictionary offers a fascinating etymological history and detailed explanation of the evolution of nearly every word in the English language. Analyzing the historical and contemporary definitions of words such as “slave,” “villain,” “tramp,” and “gentleman,” among others, makes great fodder for online class discussions and group assignments.
- ● US Slave’s well-sourced blog post “The Quattro Mori: The Four Moors” offers students a good model on how to write a blog post within the non-institutional affiliated Digital Humanities realm.
- ● Ohio State University’s news division report “When Europeans Were Slaves” interviews scholars researching the prevalence of white slavery.62
- ● Virginia Commonwealth University’s David Bromley offers students a platform for sharing their research on his History of Portraiture site, with this page beautifully detailing Michelangelo’s Dying Slave series.63
Millennial and Generation Z students were raised on a steady diet of blogs and social media platforms that have democratized access to educational sources and championed niche intellectual pursuits, so it comes as no surprise to them if you ask them to conduct research by scrolling through blogs on sites such as Tumblr or the venerable Blogspot/Blogger. Although the authors of many blogs are anonymous or publish under a witty pseudonym, you may find it surprising how much painstaking research these authors engage in to use valid sources and make powerful arguments. One such example is People of Color in European Art History, whose cheeky Tumblr tag line is “Because you wouldn’t want to be historically inaccurate.”64 In an interview with National Public Radio, the blog’s author, Malisha Dewalt, explained that “All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia. This blog is here to emphasize the modern racism that retroactively erases gigantic swaths of truth and beauty.”65 The paintings, sculptures, and historical records that flow through this Tumblr are an astounding treasure trove of evidence to counter social media trolls who decry the presence of any free black person in TV series or films set in the medieval or Renaissance era—even when the narratives are fictional. Although the blog has not been updated in more than a year, following its links and hashtags will lead you to similarly themed blogs.
Furthermore, creating a class blog or assigning students to create visually rich posts about black individuals in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the Americas, Africa, or anywhere in the world, is an easy and enriching assignment that can be created based on the previously mentioned scholarship.
- ● The People of Color in European Art History Tumblr offers a seemingly endless array of art to help students view, analyze, and research the lives of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern people portrayed in European and non-European art during the medieval and early modern era.
- ● Former DreamWorks animator Jason Porath is a much-beloved blogger who has decided to narrate and illustrate the lives of mythic, fictional, and historic women who do not fit the stereotypical “Disney princess” mold. From covering Angola’s anticolonialist crusader Nzinga Mbande to Japan’s sixteenth-century warrior Ōhōri Tsuruhime, Porath’s popular blog led to publications of two anthologies inspired by Rejected Princesses.
- ● Although you may be tempted to use the “Afro European History” tab to get straight to your research, you’re likely to fall through the rabbit hole of endless scrolling when you see the gold mine of sources that the African, Black, & Diasporic History Tumblr offers.
I hope that this essay inspires us to keep our eyes peeled for resources and strategies to make our classrooms, whether online or in person, more engaging, inclusive, and accurate. The conversation has only begun. From discussions on Ethiopia’s importance in the spread of early Christianity66 to portrayals of Balthazar, one of the three wise men, as an African,67 there are enough sources out there to change every single one of our syllabi. The more we learn, the more we realize we have more to learn. Black lives matter in the medieval and Renaissance classroom, so let’s create those open worlds and let our students find the avatars that allow them to see themselves in the people, history, literature, music, and art that we love.
Horacio Sierra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Language, Literature, & Cultural Studies at Bowie State University, where he teaches courses on a variety of topics such as Renaissance English and Spanish literature, gender and religion, US Hispanic literature, and popular culture. He is the 2020 recipient of the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents Excellent in Teaching Award.
1 I am indebted to Dr. Monifa Love and Dr. Jacquelyn S. Sweeney at Bowie State University, Professor Sufiya Abdur-Rahman at Washington College, and Dr. Joseph Ortiz at the University of Texas at El Paso for providing feedback and sharing sources for this article, as well as discussing inclusive pedagogy strategies with me.
2 Nancy Gertner and Paul Butler, “Op-Ed: The Moment the Police Approached George Floyd, the Wheels of Injustice Started,” The Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2020.
3 Ari Shapiro and Becky Sullivan, “As the Nation Chants Her Name, Breonna Taylor’s Family Grieves a Life ‘Robbed,’” WUSF News, 5 June 2020.
4 Richard Fausset, “What We Know About the Shooting Death of Ahmaud Arbery,” The New York Times, 5 June 2020.
5 Elliott Kozuch, “HRC Mourns Monika Diamond, Black Trans Woman Killed in North Carolina,” Human Rights Campaign, 20 March 2020.
6 Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles, “Trayvon Martin and the Hashtag Campaign That Set the Stage for Black Lives Matter,” The MIT Press Reader, 5 June 2020.
7 Rebecca R. Ruiz, “Baltimore Officers Will Face No Federal Charges in Death of Freddie Gray,” The New York Times, 12 September 2017.
8 Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert, “Press Coverage of the Jon Benet Ramsey Murder and Its Legal Implications: A Dialogue with John and Patsy Ramsey and Their Attorney, L. Lin Wood,” Commlaw Conspectus, 10, no. 2 (2002): 227–50.
9 Daniel Victor, “The O. J. Simpson Murder Trials, as Covered by The Times,” The New York Times, 2 February 2016.
10 Howard Kurtz, “The Peterson Murder Case, Made for Cable,” The Washington Post, 30 June 2003.
11 Alex Wigglesworth, “Mackenzie Lueck’s Body Has Been Found, Police Say,” Chicago Tribune, 5 July 2019.
12 William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, ed. Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, Rebecca Niles (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library, n.d.).
13 Michael Ohajuru, The John Blanke Project, 29 March 2020.
14 Catherine Fletcher, The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).
15 Southern Methodist University Bridewell Library Perkins School of Theology, “St. Benedict of San Philadelphio,” in The Lives of Saints.
16 Alexander Ives Bortlot, “Women Leaders in African History: Ana Nzinga, Queen of Ndongo,” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 2003.
17 Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Juan de Pareja (1606–1670),” The Met 150.
18 Stuart Jeffries, “Dido Belle: The Artworld Enigma Who Inspired a Movie,” The Guardian, 27 May 2014.
19 Ben Johnson, Masque of Blackness, in The Works of Ben Johnson (Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Co., 1853), 660–63.
20 Leslie Davis and Richard Fry, “College Faculty Have Become More Racially and Ethnically Diverse, But Remain Far Less So Than Students,” Fact Tank: News in the Numbers, Pew Research Center, 31 July 2019.
21 Abigail J. Stewart, “Recruiting Diverse and Excellent New Faculty,” Inside HigherEd, 19 July 2018.
22 Colleen Flaherty, “Undue Burden,” Inside HigherEd, 4 June 2019.
23 Patricia A. Matthew, “What Is Faculty Diversity Worth to a University?,” The Atlantic, 23 November 2016.
24 US Department of Education, “Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program—Title V,” 5 February 2020.
25 National Endowment for the Humanities, “Awards for Faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
26 US Department of the Interior, Office of Civil Rights, “Minority Serving Institutions Program,” accessed 10 June 2020.
27 Fallout 4 (Bethesda Games Studios, 2015).
28 Ark: Survival Evolved (Studio Wildcard, 2017).
29 Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo, 2020).
30 Erin Migdol, “Rediscovering Black Portraiture Through the Getty Museum Challenge,” The Iris: Behind the Scenes at the Getty, J. Paul Getty Museum, May 27, 2020.
31 Dragon Age: Inquisition (Bioware, 2014)
32 Gloria Ladson-Billings, “Fighting for Our Lives: Preparing Teachers to Teach African American Students,” Journal of Teacher Education 51, no.3 (2000): 206–14.
33 bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (New York: Routledge, 1994), 8.
34 Marilyn Cochran-Smith, “Toward A Theory of Teacher Education for Social Justice,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York City, March 2008), 5.
35 Dennis Austin Britton, Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014).
36 Peter Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (Reprint Edition) (London: Pluto Press, 2018).
37 Baltasar Fra-Molinero, La imagen de los negros en el teatro del Siglo de Oro (Madrid: Siglo XXI de España Editores, S.A.), 1992.
38 Peter Erickson, Citing Shakespeare: The Reinterpretation of Race in Contemporary Literature and Art (New York: Macmillan, 2008).
39 Ruben Espinosa and David Ruiter, Shakespeare and Immigration (New York: Routledge, 2014).
40 Lynn Ramey, Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014).
41 David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History (London: Pan Books, 2018).
42 M. Lindsay Kaplan, Figuring Racism in Medieval Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).
43 Christine Hockings, Paul Brett, and Mat Terentjevs, “Making a Difference—Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Through Open Educational Resources,” Distance Education 33, no. 2 (2012): 237–52.
44 Miranda Kaufman, “Blanke, John,” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 1 September 2017.
45 The National Archives, “John Blanke, Black Trumpeter.”
46 Michael Ohajuru, The John Blanke Project, 9 June 2020.
47 Rose Eveleth, “Not All the Knights of the Round Table Were White,” Smithsonian Magazine, 16 January 2014.
48 Jerry Bretton, “Is This the Real Model for Othello?,” The Guardian, 19 March 2016.
49 Hugh Cipher, "Sir Morien and the Black presence in Medieval Europe (or the real Black Knight),” The Hugh Cipher: Ciphering on Metaphysics, History, Anthropology, Genetics, Religion & Race, 8 February 2017.
50 Sue Niebrzydowski, “The Sultana and Her Sisters: Black Women in the British Isles Before 1530,” Women’s History 10, no. 2 (2001).
51 Fletcher, The Black Prince of Florence.
52 Mario de Valdez y Cocom, “Alessandro De Medici,” Frontline: Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families, Public Broadcasting Service, 2 June 2020.
53 Mario de Valdez y Cocom, “A View On Race and the Art World,” Frontline: Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families, Public Broadcasting Service, 14 January 2005.
54 Walters Museum of Art, “Portrait of Maria Salviati de’ Medici and Giulia de’ Medici,” Online Collection, 2 June 2020.
55 Robert Irwin, “How Circassian Were the Circassian Malmuks?,” in The Mamluk Sultanate from the Perspective of Regional and World History, ed. Reuven Amitai and Cilliers Breytenbach (Bonn: V&R Academic, 2019), 114.
56 Mark Rosen, “Pietro Tacca’s Quattro Mori and the Conditions of Slavery in the Early Seicento Tuscany,” The Art Bulletin 97, no. 1 (2015).
57 Catherine M. Styer, “Barbary Pirates, British Slaves, and the Early Modern Atlantic world, 1570–1800,” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2011), 5.
58 OED Online, s.v. “slave, n.1 (and adj.).”
59 David Love, “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome and Intergenerational Trauma: Slavery is Like a Curse Passing Through the DNA of Black People,” Atlanta Black Star, 5 June 2016.
60 Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, “Telling the Story: Enslavement of African People in the United States.”
61 Kate Shuster, Teaching Hard History: American Slavery, Southern Poverty Law Center, 2018.
62 Jeff Grabmeier, “When Europeans Were Slaves,” Ohio State News, 12 March 2020.
63 Paul Hansen, “Slaves by Michelangelo Buonarotti,” History of Portraiture: VCU Honors.
64 Malisha Dewalt, “Because,” People of Color in European History, 2019.
65 Gene Demby, “Taking a Magnifying Glass To The Brown Faces in Medieval Art,” Code Sw!tch, National Public Radio, 13 December 2013.
66 Andrew Lawler, “Church Unearthed in Ethiopia Rewrites the History of Christianity in Africa,” Smithsonian Magazine, 10 December 2019.
67 Kristen Collins and Bryan C. Keene, “A New Exhibition Explores Balthazar, a Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance European Art,” The Iris: Behind the Scenes at the Getty, Getty Museum of Art, 19 November 2019.
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