Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe by Runoko Rashidi is a comprehensive and well researched history of the many outstanding Africans in Europe from the time of the Roman Empire to the 19th Century. Graced with a beautiful cover and excellent photographs, the book covers Africans in Greek mythology, African Emperors at Rome, African Popes, the Moors, Black Madonnas, African Saints, Great men of African descent, and African scholars on Europe.
The Preface is written by Robin Walker, who stated:
“The 1985 text, The African Presence in Early Asia, established Runoko Rashidi as the leading authority in the world on the history of Black people in Asia. The publication of this work, Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe, establishes his reputation as the leading authority on the history of Black people in Europe.
Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe is an excellent read. Rashidi is conspicuously polished as a wordsmith. For some people, this is suspicious, as many critics don’t like writers who write too well! Fortunately, the referencing and supporting material is all there. Like Professor Yosef ben-Jochannan’s books, Black Star is also an excellent research tool. It is unlikely that any reader of this book will remain a passive receptor of information. On the contrary, Rashidi points you to new sources of information to pursue more study in the respective topics. He also has biographies of the earlier Black scholars who have delved into these areas.
The contents of this book could not have come at a more useful time. As governments across Europe are backpedalling on the few gains for multiculturalism and diversity, Rashidi reminds us of the long and interesting history that Black people have made or contributed to in Europe. It is an intriguing history, taking us from the earliest humans in Europe, through the earliest civilisations of the Mediterranean, through the Moors of the mediaeval world, and to the great Black individuals who made history in the different European countries. Finally, Rashidi shows that Black people have figured in the religious and mythological thought of the European peoples.”
Praise for Black Star: African Presence in Early Europe
“The African presence in Europe and the history of the African presence in Europe is very broad. This work focuses on a very different type of African in Europe, and highlights the African who contributed to the great civilizations and historical movements in Europe. It does not deal with prehistory, or African servants in Europe, or Africans in the colonial armies of Europe, or the Africans struggling to survive in Europe today. This work focuses on the Africans who made lasting and stellar contributions to the culture and religious beliefs of Europe. It is bolstered by many on-site visits and much first-hand and primary research, and focuses on Europe’s Black Star-the African presence in early Europe. It includes chapters on the African presence in Greece and Rome, the Moors in Europe, Black Madonnas, Distinguished Africans in Early Europe, and African Chroniclers of the African Presence in Early Europe.” –Ankhur