What characterized Black experiences in early modern German-speaking Europe was its diverse nature. People of African descent served in courts as musicians, servants, and confidants, and they entered the Church as priests and nuns. One extraordinary philosopher, Anton Wilhelm Amo, made a name in academia. At the same time, however, the birth of the transatlantic slave trade meant that the status of Black people in Europe was shifting downward. Although German courts played a minor role in the slave trade, as these documents here tell us, they nonetheless established their own slave trading companies and assisted other nations in the creation of the Middle Passage. In this context images of Black people began to take on more demeaning features.
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3 thoughts on “1500-1750 English”
I don’t know how reliable this Wikipedia entry is, but it does mention a Moorish soldier active in Germany in 1586. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkersdorf_massacre
Thanks very much for this, which I knew nothing about until you mentioned it. It certainly is an important addition to our understanding of how “Hofmohren” felt about being in the courts, and I’m going to see if I can track down more information about Etnst’s court. If you happen to know more, do please let me know, and thanks again!
Not sure if my comment went through (the page reset itself without telling me either way) but the Wikipedia page on the Junkersdorf massacre of 1586 mentions a Moor serving in the War of Cologne.