Another post of 'Black European nobility tucked away'. This time Italian Alessandro de Medici (1510 - 1537), first duke of Florence, and the first black head of a European state. His nickname was "il Moro" ("the Moor").
In an interesting PBS article the author Mario de Valdes y Cocom writes about Alessandro de Medici, and also about how his African ancestry was downplayed in an Exhibit: "Despite the many portraits of this 16th century Italian Renaissance figure, Alessandro de Medici's African heritage is rarely, if ever, mentioned.
Alessandro wielded great power as the first duke of Florence. He was the patron of some of the leading artists of the era and is one of the two Medici princes whose remains are buried in the famous tomb by Michaelangelo. The ethnic make up of this Medici Prince makes him the first black head of state in the modern western world.
Alessandro was born in 1510 to a black serving woman in the Medici household who, after her subsequent marriage to a muleteer, is simply referred to in existing documents as Simonetta da Collavechio. Historians today are convinced that Alessandro was fathered by the seventeen year old Cardinal Giulio de Medici who later became Pope Clement VII. Cardinal Giulio was the nephew of Lorenzo the Magnificent."
Read full story: The blurred Racial Line of Famous Families: Alessandro de Medici
The post 'Black European nobility tucked away', was about the research of Egmond Codfried. Although Alessandro de Medici was not mentioned in the post, he was part of the research. The goal of the research, according to Codfried, is to prove that Europe was never as 'white' as we have been taught. Black people were always in Europe, even among the European nobility.
Special thanks to Annalisa Butticci, who noticed that Alessandro de Medici was not mentioned in the story.