African Europeans: A History That Needs Telling.
This is one of those historical accounts that needs to be read.
African Europeans have been creating and sharing knowledge for centuries. They have been transmitting their various cultures in environments that were hostile to them and in ways that were not recognized as valuable by scholars from the Global North.'
Otele has written an illuminating and engaging history that is aimed at returning the Africans that existed within the European societal construct to the collective consciousness of today.
Those whose images had been rewritten and redrawn by European historians to suit their racialized definitions and perceptions. She has reclaimed their true identities and contributions that have been obscured to feed into the need to erase and downplay their colonialistic and imperialist past.
She uses an investigative and comparative approach using records and surviving observations to accomplish this and it is done brilliantly.
Otele focuses on their relationship with their histories and identities, how the structure of the European society was set up to extract their talents, minds, and bodies to further each colonial country's agenda, while refusing to view them as an integral part of the social fabric.
She takes us into laws and practices that were implemented to exclude and separate those of African descent and with dual heritage from the native white populace, the perceptions held by the general public and the effects that rippled and crippled the potential of those who were branded stateless, not belonging, exotic.
We also learn how these countries use their dual-heritaged/African-descended individuals to excel in arenas such as Sports/Athletics and the Arts.
But throughout Otele's brilliant, easy to read and understand account, we are shown the resilience that resides within, how it is used to fight for the right to be seen and heard. Across Europe, social movements, festivals, artists, and activists have instigated and initiated movements to cement their place in the countries they and their ancestors, on and off continent, literally built.