Topic: Is it true that history whitewashed Mozart?

Is it true that history whitewashed Mozart?

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Re: Is it true that history whitewashed Mozart?

The picture on the far left is an advertisement for the Klara classical Radio station, the middle picture is Monsieur D St. George (Who was in fact half black and the first famous composer of African descent, and an altogether fascinating man in his own right. Only the last picture in the series is actually an unaltered portrait of Mozart, and it matches all of the other known pictures of the composer as to race.

Some of the confusion may arise from the fact that D. St George was a contemporary of Mozart, and given the nickname “The black Mozart” - and that he and Mozart were at least acquainted with one another and possibly friends, and the rest stems from the mistaken notion that people throughout history had mostly similar views of race as the present day US.

Considering that D St. George was nearly as famous as Mozart during his life (and as a fencing master and war hero as well as a composer), it would be odd that history chose to whitewash one of the two, but not both.

This of course is because throughout most of history, the distinctly American form of racial obsession on display here would have been considered foolish at the best, and pathological at the worst. Most of history just didn’t care about skin color all that much, despite what our modern revising tells us, and there are an enormous number of famous figures who today would probably be thought of as black that you may know of, but don’t think of as black - not because it was shameful or whitewashed, but because it simply wasn’t considered that relevant at the time (A great example of this would be Alexander Dumas, (Pere). If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he wrote The Count Of Monte Christo, the Three Musketeers, etc. ). Although it’s very likely you know the name, or at least the works he’s most famous for, it may never have even been mentioned that he was the son of a freed slave. Again, not because it was considered shameful, but because it just didn’t matter all that much to the sensibilities of the time.

(Don’t get me wrong- there was substantial amount of prejudice present in the past, and certain time periods have been characterized by whitewashing and flat out ignoring the contributions of black people and/or other ethnic minorities, just rarely in such a monolithic and simplistic fashion as appears to be our default in the US today).