In 2008, BBC One Television debuted a fantasy TV series about Camelot called Merlin (also called The Adventures of Merlin ), set at the time when Merlin, Arthur and Guinevere were teenagers, before they became legends.
When the series debuted, viewers quickly noted the racially-diverse cast. Some criticized this multi-racial vision of British legend as “historically inaccurate” and “political correctness,” while others applauded it as a welcome twist which was more reflective of modern British society than the all-white Britain of ancient history.
But was historical Britain all-white? Were there any people of color in Britain during “Arthurian” times? (And what do we mean by “Arthurian” times anyway?)
In this lesson, we will investigate the racial composition of Roman & Medieval Britain, and how racial diversity was portrayed in medieval Arthurian legends."-
Black in Camelot: Racial Diversity in Historical England and Arthurian Legend (Fantasy and Sci-Fi in the Classroom)
- History, Classical/Medieval
- Humanities, Western Civilization
Student Learning Outcomes
- Locate and Discuss historical and/or archeological evidence suggesting or disproving the presence of Africans in Roman and medieval Britain (and Europe)
- Demonstrate awareness of the portrayal of people of color in medieval Arthurian literature
- Discuss the portrayal of ethnic diversity in current Arthurian-themed television shows and films
Yey comparative anatomy!
These are both from bobcats. The cranium on the right is pretty normative. The cranium on the left is from the ULTIMATE bobcat. Notice how robust the left cranium is in comparison to the right! Notice the size difference! So cool!
Cat (felidae) skulls are distinct due to large, round eye orbits and flat faces. The snouts don’t stick out like a dog (canidae). The cranium on the left is sporting a bit of a sagital crest. The jaws were exceptionally powerful! To the untrained eye, it might not be obvious that these two skulls are from the same species. Individual differences/morphological variants, I tell ya….
larockphotography said: My brother is a middle school teacher and I put him on to your blog. He smiled and said he's seen a ghost. Said in education, thinkers like you are almost extinct
This is probably one of the most strangely flattering messages I’ve gotten.
Because that’s probably exactly how I would feel if I came across this blog rather than running it.
In the last 15 years or so, American culture has seen a massive shift toward the conservative that i think shocks a lot of people from my generation. Thinkers like me in education are almost extinct, because we have been driven out by financial, social, and political pressures trickling down from the top of the food chain, so to speak.
It’s no secret that the quality of American education has, in general, been plummeting, along with drastic increases in censorship, pearl-clutching, and the tendency to reframe resistance movements as persecution of the people in power by those who have none.
In response to this, you’re seeing more and more marginalized people taking advantage of social media to critique, educate, and converse with these shifts in culture….and ushering in a new age of actual accountability that hasn’t really been seen before; at least, not in my lifetime.
My tone and methods are actually very similar to those of my own high school teachers. Books that I remember doing entire-class projects on, I find out have since been banned. There are many who find me aggressive, unprofessional, and a lot of other adjectives that invoke a sense of “respectability” versus “unprofessionalism” that makes me feel pretty shaken by the insight to the state of what’s going on in many classrooms across America.
My hope is that with the next ten years or so, we can try and swing the pendulum back towards an ACTUAL center, instead of this false center that’s been artificially created in favor of conservatism, censorship, and erasure.
Give your brother a hug for me, he’s doing one of the most important and most difficult jobs I can think of.
Bear in mind that medievalpoc writes about /medieval European/ history from a completely /modern american/ standpoint using modern american definitions of who poc are … she ends up erasing a lot of ppl … like entire races and stuff …. from her accounts like basically only showing ppl she considers poc from her modern american perspective rather than taking into account historical and geographical context and showing all the people who were in that kinda category at the time . Thats her angle
Which, you know. Would be a lot more of a thing if it was my fault that American education teaches European history at all, much less the WAY it does. But, you don’t care about that. you care about me, and my reaction to the situation, which you apparently feel needs a “warning”. About my “angle”.
Because the literal exact point of this blog is that Europeans who are VISUALLY considered people of color
by modern educators
according to modern definitions of race
are excluded from European history by modern educators
because they look like people of color according TO and BECAUSE OF “modern American perspective”.
The bottom line is, you think I’m DOING the thing I’m actually fighting against.
I’m fighting the erasure of the people who are BEING erased from history. I’m responding to a situation that is already happening, I’m not creating that situation by talking about it.
I’ve said a million times, this isn’t history in its OWN context, this is history as WE experience it in OUR context.
This is about history BECOMES history, and WHY.
Like, absolutely if you want like literally everything about various European racial and ethnic groups and how they were constructed in their historical geographic area, that’s NOT what you’re getting here. Like, we might touch on it, but it’s not the purpose.
I didn’t invent the erasure of people who are being EXCLUDED right now in classrooms because of HOW THEY LOOK TO AMERICANS.
THAT is the situation that I am addressing.
By all means, feel free to do other things elsewhere.
I just don’t see why you’re so interested in warning people about what I’m doing here, or seem to think there’s something wrong with that.