Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins
Blackamoores is about the presence, status and origins of Africans in Tudor England. Onyeka argues that these people were present in cities and towns throughout England, but that they did not automatically occupy the lowest positions in Tudor society.
This is important because the few modern historians who have written about Africans in Tudor England suggest that they were all slaves, or transient immigrants who were considered as dangerous strangers and the epitome of otherness. However, this book will show that some Africans in England had important occupations in Tudor society, and were employed by powerful people because of the skills they possessed.
These people seem to have inherited some of their skills from the multicultural societies that they came from, but that does not mean all of those present in England were born in other countries: some were born in England.
The arguments in this book are supported by evidence from a variety of sources both manuscript and printed, most of which has not been widely discussed – whilst some of it Onyeka has discovered, and this may be the first time that it has been revealed.
Other evidence is taken from texts that are the subject of popular discussion by historians, linguists and so on, but Onyeka encourages the reader to re-examine these works in a different way because they reveal information about the presence, status and origins of Africans in Tudor England.
How refreshing to finally have a book that confronts the common misconception of any existence ‘other than the Europeans’ in English History. The world is your oyster with this book. It opens the mind to unlimited possibilities pertaining to the African existence in history.