Blackamoores in Tudor England

Blackamoores in Tudor England

On April 18, 2017, Narrative Eye will present Blackamoores in Tudor England – Illuminating a Hidden Time by African writer Onyeka Nubia. The artist will discuss the Blackamoores of England and how their lives affect us today.

Among the glamour and intrigue that surrounds The Tudor period is the untold story of people of African descent who lived and worked throughout England – not as slaves but as members of society. Their lives have been illuminated by the historian Nubia in his book Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins, which involved researching over 250,000 artefacts from archives and parish records.

Records of people such as ‘Bastien, a Blackmoore of Mr Willm Hawkins’ who was buried on 10th December 1583 in the Plymouth area. William Hawkins was the son of William Hawkins the elder and the brother of John Hawkins, all of whom practised piracy and adventuring along the Barbary coast, west Africa and beyond. Their lives paint a picture of a Tudor England that we are unfamiliar with, yet is essential to our understanding of this era and the socio-political climate of today.

Onyeka Nubia is a writer, law lecturer and historian. His books document the lives and history of the African experience in Britain. His work explores issues about cultural identity, resistance to oppression and the will to succeed. Nubia has written three novels, The Black Prince, Waiting to Explode and The Phoenix, which was awarded the 2009 African Achievers award for Communication and Media. He has also written two plays and his recent book, Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins, is a ground breaking historical publication which highlights the significance of the presence of African people in Tudor England. This important work is based on the investigation of over 250,000 artefacts and documents gathered by the author, spanning more than 25 years of research. Nubia has worked with a variety of educational institutions including the University of London, Brunel, Southbank University, Queen Mary and Westfield. He has been a consultant and conducted project planning for government departments and ministers in the UK and abroad.

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