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Thread: Slightly Tricky History Question

  1. #1
    Chaplain
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    Slightly Tricky History Question

    Hey Lads,

    For my Euro class at the end of the year we must choose a prominent European figure in history and portray them for a project. I'm confident I know who I'll choose but a friend of mine is having problems, primarily because shes an African American girl, I've tried some research but to no avail can anyone help me find a some what prominent figure in European history who was a woman of African descent? Many thanks!

    Petesamd
    "Fear is the basis of the whole - fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the
    parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand-in-hand." - Bertrand Russell

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Xisor's Avatar
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    Re: Slightly Tricky History Question

    Mary Seacole is the lady that immediately jumped to mind. I'm not particularly massive on my history, but she seems fairly prominent. How far back are the projects considering?
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  3. #3
    Commander Disposable Hero's Avatar
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    Re: Slightly Tricky History Question

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayaan_Hirsi_Ali

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a prominent figure in right wing Dutch political history of a few years ago. She took a harsh stand against Islam and got into rough waters for that.
    I believe she is now part of an American think-tank.

    And European women of African descent. She might try delving into women from Surinam, who are mostly descendents of slaves, who made it here.
    The University of Leiden recently did research into 17th century correspondence and they found letters of a slave woman who sent a letter to her former master who moved back to Holland. She was asking for her son's freedom.
    This was significant because up till then, we knew little about the contacts between slaves and masters and it seems it was a whole lot less formal then was thought.

    Besides women of African descent, I would suggest this woman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Leyster
    It leans a lot more towards art, but she has historical significance because she was a woman in a male dominated world and boy, could she swing a brush.

    My last suggestion would be the European suffragette movement, feminism baby!
    Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita,
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
    ché la diritta via era smarrita.

  4. #4

    Re: Slightly Tricky History Question

    Mary Seacole came to mind for me as well. She would be my suggestion.

  5. #5
    Chapter Master Serpent's Avatar
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    Re: Slightly Tricky History Question

    She's not a historical figure just yet, but Swedish Minister of Equality Nyamko Sabuni is an African-European woman of some merit. I personally find her politics revolting, but she is of African descent (born in Burundi, came to Sweden at age 12).

    As I said above, I wouldn't call her a historical figure, mainly because she's a person in the present.

    European history isn't exactly filled with historical people of African heritage. This may have something to do with the slavery bit. We had a poor working class to use instead.
    "I must say, I've fallen in love with the musical genre. It's the art form of the common man. If you want to communicate something with the proletariat, cover it in sequins and make it sing. It's noisy, vulgar and utterly meaningless. I love it."
    -Darren Nichols, Slings & Arrows, Season 3

  6. #6

    Re: Slightly Tricky History Question

    If you are allowed to go back a long way how about 'Mitochondrial Eve' she has to be the prominent person of African origin from which we are all decended and by default any other prominent European regardless of what other routes they may have or what gender they are. That is pretty impressive and prominent.

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