Photograph by Ginger Mayfield
I asked the mother for a photo, but she said the decision was up to her son. So I asked the boy. He stood up, walked over, looked me up and down, and said: “Prove to me you’re not a terrorist.”
timballisto asked: I'm writing a paper about the internalized racism in Shakespeare's Othello. Do you have any good sources about the Elizabethan interactions with people of color that can give me some context for this play? I asked my professor but he gave me the "there were no african peoples (Moors or otherwise) in England in this time period" spiel, but I'm sensing bullshit. Thank you!
Okay well your professor lied to you.
Actually there were so many Black British at that time that Elizabeth I tried to blame the realms ills on them and have them all deported. Twice. She failed, probably because you can’t deport your own citizens very well under most circumstances. It’s actually a pretty pivotal point in English history.
An open le[tt]re to the L[ord] Maiour of London and th’alermen his brethren, And to all other Maiours, Sheryfes, &c. Her Ma[jes]tieunderstanding that there are of late divers Blackmoores brought into the Realme, of which kinde of people there are all ready here to manie,consideringe howe God hath blessed this land w[i]th great increase of people of our owne Nation as anie Countrie in the world, wherof manie for want of Service and meanes to sett them on worck fall to Idlenesse and to great extremytie; Her Ma[jesty’]s pleasure therefore ys, that those kinde of people should be sent forthe of the lande. And for that purpose there ys direction given to this bearer Edwarde Banes to take of those Blackmoores that in this last voyage under Sir Thomas Baskervile, were brought into this Realme to the nomber of Tenn, to be Transported by him out of the Realme. Wherein wee Req[uire] you to be aydinge & Assysting unto him as he shall have occacion, and thereof not to faile.
Elizabeth I tried to use Black British as scapegoats for some of the problems in English society during the Elizabethan Era, problems that led to the passing of the famous Poor Laws in 1597 and 1601.
But while Elizabeth may have enjoyed being entertained by Black people, in the 1590s she also issued proclamations against them. In 1596 she wrote to the lord mayors of major cities noting that there were ‘of late divers blackmoores brought into this realm, of which kind of people there are already here to manie…’. She ordered that ‘those kinde of people should be sente forth of the land’.
Elizabeth made an arrangement for a merchant, Casper van Senden, to deport Black people from England in 1596. The aim seems to have been to exchange them for (or perhaps to sell them to obtain funds to buy) English prisoners held by England’s Catholic enemies Spain and Portugal.
No doubt van Senden intended to sell these people. But this was not to be, because masters* of Black workers - who had not been offered compensation - refused to let them go. In 1601, Elizabeth issued a further proclamation expressing her ‘discontentment by the numbers of blackamores which are crept into this realm…’ and again licensing van Senden to deport Black people. It is doubtful whether this second proclamation was any more successful than the first.Why this sudden, urgent desire to expel members of England’s Black population? It was more than a commercial transaction pursued by the queen. In the 16th century, the ruling classes became increasingly concerned about poverty and vagrancy, as the feudal system- which, in theory, had kept everyone in their place - finally broke down. They feared disorder and social breakdown and, blaming the poor, brought in poor laws to try to deal with the problem
As you can see, Black people were a pretty important and pivotal part of English society at the time. Basically, the Queen tried to convince the people that they had to “give up” their cobbler’s apprentices and weavers and other various other workingpeople (the Black musicians in the court were of course exempt from the deportations) to the crown, on the basis that they were “vagrants” and “mostly infidels”. This was not only a wild exaggeration (most were Christian with working class jobs like ya do), but it’s not a very compelling reason to frigging report your next-door neighbor Bill the Mason to immigration. Because then who’s going to do your masonry?
So anyways, the Poor Laws had to be passed, because you can’t deport your citizens/workforce and no one would cooperate with something like that.
And it’s not like those people went anywhere. They’re still there. They were there before that! Some had been there since like, the 4th frigging century when that was part of the Roman Empire!
Also check the tag for England here. Plenty more on lots of different people of color in England throughout many eras.
oh my god how is this something i never learned about in three separate elizabethan era-focused classes??? (no need to answer; i know how)
Like, I thought my capacity to be disappointed in history education was full, but I guess not.
Seriously, the next time someone sends a message about how this is stuff “everyone knows” remind me to link this.
Reblogging this for the last five people who asked me if there are enough people who don’t know that POC lived in Europe in the past to “justify” Medievalpoc’s existence….
Because sometimes those people are your professor. Or someone who took three Elizabethan Era focused classes. Because I think everyone should know these things, whether you’re a history fan or not.
Jump in the Abyss
Because it will surely embrace You
IF YOU HAD ROOM WITH ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN IT AND THE WALLS CEILING AND FLOOR WERE MADE OF MIRROR WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE IN THE MIRRORS
Holy shit I asked my dad who’s a physics teacher and he just looked at me, looked at the table, looked at me, tried not to smile, looked angry, and started to look up where you can buy big mirrors.
this is an actual room of mirrors.
as you can see, it leads to glitches in the matrix
Pshh. This is some entry-level nerd shit. Stand back.
It would be dark, obviously. If there’s nothing in the room, I assume there’s also no light source in the room. Mirrors reflect light. No light, and it’s just a room with glass walls.
"Fine, smarty-pants, then there’s a light source."
Okay, then the mirrors would infinitely reflect the lamp, or whatever.
"Ugh, then there’s just a magic floating ball of light in the middle of the room. No lamp."
That’s just a lamp with no sharp edges, if you think about it.
"UGH. Just imagine that the room is UNIFORMLY LIT, but not FROM anything. Or a laser beam just, like, HAPPENED."
Okay, well if we’re suspending the laws of physics now in this hypothetical scenario, we have to clarify a few points:
- Do the mirrors join each other perfectly at the corners, floor, and ceiling; i.e., with no cracks?
In the real world this would be next to impossible; the gap between each mirror would need to be significantly smaller than one wavelength of light. If not, what you’d predominantly see reflected would be those cracks. That’s one of the things that’s happening in the picture above. For this reason, this hypothetical is usually posed as a perfectly-smooth mirrored sphere, to avoid needing to talk about cracks and corners.
- Are these perfect mirrors?
That is, do they reflect 100% of all light on all wavelengths? Because perfect mirrors kind of don’t really exist. Did you know that your bathroom mirror only reflects about 25% of the light energy that strikes it back at you? The mirrors used in laser laboratories can get up to 80 or 90%, and I read about a mirror developed at MIT recently which apparently reflects more than 98% of light energy. The light energy which doesn’t bounce off the mirror is absorbed by it instead: at which point it becomes heat. Even if you had a mirror so good that only 0.0000001% of its light energy was converted into heat energy on every bounce, your light would still dissipate almost instantly, because of how fast light travels (and, therefore, how many bounces it makes per second).
- Is there air in the room?
Yeah—you know how I said that light energy becomes heat energy when it bounces off of an imperfect mirror (or, if you prefer, ‘literally anything’)? Well, passing through all those atoms and molecules it encounters in the air takes the same kind of toll. If you don’t want your light to be reduced to heat-mush before you can finish blinking your eyes, you’d need your room to be a perfect vacuum. And perfect vacuums? Yeah, those don’t exist either.
“UGHHHHHH. YES, okay, the room is PERFECTLY spherical, it’s coated in a PERFECT mirror, and it contains a PERFECT vacuum. Just tell me what it looks like, oh my God!”
Well…it doesn’t look like anything.
I mean…’looking’ implies the existence of an observer, right? You have constructed a hypothetical chamber which could not admit an observer of any kind. As soon as you cut a hole in the room to take a peak inside, all of the light would escape/be converted into a heat, and you’d be left with total darkness again. Even if you could construct a room like the one you’re describing, there’d be no way to know what was happening inside it!
“I WILL EAT YOU.”
—BUT: hypothetically, it wouldn’t be dark in there before you messed it up.
It would be white.
A perfectly featureless, perfectly regular, perfectly boring white room.
What did you expect? Light, visible light anyway, is white. You see colors when photons are absorbed by the atoms of a substrate, but we’ve already determined that these are perfect mirrors, so no photons are being absorbed. In your perfect mirror room, there is nothing to see: just light, bouncing around into infinity, doing nothing whatsoever of any interest.
Aria Heller, Everyone.