A resurfaced blog post has Black folks on Twitter cutting up, claiming Ludwig van Beethoven as one of their own and even imagining what listening to his music may have been like in the 1800s.
The blog post, titled "Beethoven may have been black," which was published by The Concordian of Concordia College, was originally posted in 2015 and speculates his racial background, beginning with his mother.
Author Naomi Swanson suggests that Beethoven's mother, Maria Magdalena Keverich, was of Moorish descent — settlers originating from northern Africa and migrating into present-day Spain. Swanson also suggests that his father, Johann Van, was born in Moorish territory.
Highlighting the lack of reliability in portraits during Beethoven's life due to the many variances, Swanson cited physical descriptions of the musical composer from credible sources.
"Wide, thick-lipped mouth, short, thick nose, and proudly arched forehead," "Negroid traits, dark skin, flat, thick nose," "Complexion was brownish, his hair was thick, black, and bristly," were quotes mentioned by Swanson, concluding Beethoven could have actually been a Black man.
Swanson went on to blame the history of white-washing historical figures as another reason for the misreporting of Beethoven's true ethnicity.
While it's unclear how and why the blog resurfaced, Twitter took full advantage of the opportunity to crack jokes, creating the hashtag #BeethovenWasBlack.
It makes sense Beethoven was black. Moonlight Sonata was hittin on another level. What’s the tea on Mozart?
— ⚜️ Auntie Double C Biqueen ???? (@taisoleil) June 18, 2020
Another person said it was clear Beethoven was Black based on his "great-great-grandson" Zaytoven, a music producer and musician whose name is a play off of the composer's.
Y’all are really arguing if Beethoven was black?? ????♂️ Of fuckin course he was his great great grandson Zaytoven is fuckin proof!!
— prada (bruh) (@PradaLuvScars) June 18, 2020
Despite the blog post and Twitter's reaction, the Beethoven Center at San Jose State University said the theory of him being Black "is not based on the genealogical studies of Beethoven's past which are available to the public. Rather it is based on the assumption that one of Beethoven's ancestors had a child out of wedlock."
"It is important to note that no one called Beethoven black or a moor during his lifetime, and the Viennese were keenly aware both of Moors and of mulattos, such as George Bridgetower, the famous violinist who collaborated with Beethoven," the center stated.
Regardless of the center's statement, we're going to get our laugh on to these endless memes.