Going Medieval

This post was inspired by a recent discussion with my internet wife, Shawn Harris.

I’m always amazed at how many people are so quick to argue that people of color did not exist in Europe in medieval times or that black people for instance weren’t around during the Greek and Roman times. And to include said POCs during such time periods would be unrealistic and another example of shoving a PC agenda down our throats OH-EM-GEE.

This usually comes up in medieval fantasy stories. Like say for instance, Guinevere  in the BBC’s Merlin. Actress Angel Coulby is catching heat yet again for daring to be a beautiful black queen.

This usually makes me laugh A LOT for two main reasons:

1) It’s a huge double standard in that whites can always be placed in stories revolving around Egypt, China, Africa, or pre “discovered” America and no one blinks an eye. Yet if a POC shows up in medieval fantasy tale, it’s unrealistic. Talking animals, elves, dragons, gnomes, all totally plausible. Black people in Europe? Too many people can’t suspend disbelief at that.

2) People of color existing in the Greek/Roman era and Medieval Europe is HISTORICALLY ACCURATE and those who think they’re experts, don’t know their history. AT ALL.

First of all people of color have been in Europe for ages. Think about it’s common sense. Between all the wars, travel and trade that countries and nations have done, it would only make sense that some have traveled and relocated to other lands.

-Many of the Egyptians who dealt with the Romans and Greeks were black. Rome and Carthage went to war and Hannibal to gave the Romans a run for their money. Which anytime you can give the ROMANS a fight, that’s purely badass.

-If you’re a Greek Mythology buff like myself, look up a brother named Memnon.

-Speaking of Greek Mythology, look up Andromeda, Perseus’s wife and see where she’s from.

-Blacks actually ruled in some parts of Europe and could be found in Scotland as early as the 10th century (funny how that isn’t taught in school).

-Don’t believe me? Look up Othello.

-Some of the knights of the Round Table were people of color such as Palamedes, Safir and Segwarides, as noted in TH White’s: The Once And Future King. These three were also royalty in their own right from their own lands. Trust I was geeking out when I found this out when I read this novel my senior year of high school.

-Oh and Alexandre Dumas, the author of the Three Musketeers and the Counte of Monte Crisco, a brother. Also look up Beethoven.

-I haven’t even touched the endless accomplishments of my Asian brothers and sisters.
So if your’e one of those who constantly gripe about the presence of POCs in medieval fantasy as being unrealistic, your history, do learn you some.

Also Angel Coulby has a response to all of the racist Gwen haters:




Speculative Fiction Novelist. Author of Hollowstone, West of Sunset and other cool stories. Wordsmith, activist and nerd seraph. Saving the world and/or taking it over. http://www.dennisupkins.wordpress.com