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LIST: Top 9 Historical Figures Many People Don’t Know Are Black!!

General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (1762-1806) 

French General Thomas Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie a.k.a. Thomas-Alexandre Dumas (1762-1806), fighting off the Austrian army, at the bridge of Clausen in Tyrol, on 17 January 1797. Illustration from French newspaper Le Petit Journal. May 26, 1912.

French General  Thomas-Alexandre Dumas fighting off the Austrian army, at the bridge of Clausen in Tyrol, on Jan. 17, 1797.

Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, also known as Alexandre Dumas, was a general in the French army and became one of the highest-ranking Black men of all time in a continental European army. Born in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), Alexandre Dumas was of mixed race, the son of a white French nobleman and an enslaved mother of African descent.

alexandre dumas

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Alexandre Dumas, was the son of Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie, and the author of The Count of Monte Cristo and  The Three Musketeers. He’s regarded as one of the most widely read French authors of all time.

Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin  (1799-1837)

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow after his great-grandfather on his mother’s side, Abram Petrovitch Ganibal, was enslaved and brought over from Africa to Russia where he rose to become an aristocrat.

Queen Charlotte of England 2

Queen Charlotte of England (1744-1818) 

Queen Charlotte, wife of the English King George III (1738-1820), was directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a Black branch of the Portuguese Royal House. Her contemporaries described her as having “a true mulatto face.” The city of Charlotte, North Carolina, is named after her.

Alessandro de' Medici. Duke of Florence. Painting in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Alessandro de’ Medici. Duke of Florence. Painting in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Alessandro de’ Medici (1510 – 1537) 


Alessandro de’ Medici was the Duke of Florence in the early 16th century. He is regarded as the first Black head of state in modern Western history. Historians believe he was born to a servant of African descent who was working in the Medici household

 Juan de Pareja by Diego Velázquez (New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1649-50)
Juan de Pareja by Diego Velázquez (Metropolitan Museum of Art de Nueva York, 1649-50)

Juan de Pareja (1606–1670) 

Juan de Pareja was a Spanish painter whose work The Calling of St. Matthew (sometimes also referred to as The Vocation of St. Matthew) is currently on display at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. He was enslaved and afterwards became a freedman who was described as a “Morisco,” meaning “of mixed parentage and a strange color.”

Juan Latino
Juan Latino (1518 – 1596) 
Juan Latino, born Juan de Sessa, was a distinguished African scholar at the prestigious University of Granada in 16th century Spain.

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower

George Polgreen Bridgetower (1780-1860)

George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower was an Afro-Polish-born virtuoso violinist who lived in England for much of his life. He was the son of Frederich Bridgetower, an African prince, and a Polish woman of German descent named Mary Ann.


Anton Wilhelm Amo (1703 – ca. 1759)

Anton Wilhelm Amo or Anthony William Amo was an African from what is now Ghana, who became a respected philosopher and teacher at the universities of Halle and Jena in Germany after studying there. Amo was supposedly treated like a member of the royal family and became the first African known to have attended a European university.


Written by How Africa

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