2020-06-30 06:01 tumblrkertikavics:
Let’s not forget to acknowledge Alexandre Dumas this Black History Month
The writer of two of the most well known stories worldwide, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo was a black man.
Let’s not forget that he was played on screen by a white man. And the fact that he was black is barely ever mentioned or the book he wrote inspired by his experiences.
Other things not to forget about Alexandre Dumas:
chose to take on his slave grandmother’s last name, Dumas, like his father did before him.
grew up too poor for formal education, so was largely self-taught, including becoming a prolific reader, multilingual, well-travelled, and a foodie, resulting in his writing both a combination encyclopedia/cookbook (which just— is fucking outrageous to me) AND the adaptation of The Nutcracker on which Tchaikovsky based his ballet
he also wrote a LOOOOT of nonfiction and fiction about history, politics, and revolution, bc he was pro-monarchy, but a radical cuss, and that got him in a lot of hot water at home and abroad.
even beyond that, he generally put up with a lot of racist bullshit in France, so he went and wrote a novel about colonialism and a BLATANTLY self-insert anti-slavery vigilante hero (which he then cribbed from to write the Count of Monte Cristo, the main character of which, Edmond Dantés, Dumas also based on himself).
(…a novel which also features a LOAD of PoC beyond the Count, and at LEAST one queer character, btw, bc EVERY MOVIE ADAPTATION OF ANYTHING BY DUMAS IS A LIE; seriously, at LEAST one of the four Musketeers is Black, yall.)
famously, when some fuckshit or other wanted to come at Dumas with some anti-Black foolishness, Dumas replied, “My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.”
for the bicentennial of his birthday, Pres. Jacques Cirac was like, “…sorry about the hella racism,” and had Dumas’s ashes reinterred at the Panthéon of Paris, bc if you’re gonna keep the corpses of the cream of the crop all together, Dumas’s more widely read and translated than literally everybody else.
and they are still finding stuff old dude wrote, seriously; like discovering “lost” works as recently as 2002, publishing stuff for the first time as recently as 2005.
I am absolutely ashamed to admit I had NO idea Dumas was black.
when this post first went around (a year ago apparently) I was like BUT WHAT ABOUT DADDY DUMAS THOUGH because basically
daddy general dumas was an immense fierce french warrior who was a 6 foot plus, stunningly gorgeous and charismatic Black gentleman
he invaded egypt
the native egyptians said “is this napoleon this must be napoleon. we for one welcome our majestic new overlord”
then napoleon showed up
napoleon has all the presence of yesterday’s plain Tesco hummus
the native egyptians were like “… no… no, we’ve thought very hard and we’ll have General Dumas actually”
this did not make napoleon happy
in fact it made him jealous
napoleon felt so emasculated that he launched a campaign of revenge against General Dumas, including taking away his pension, that probably inspired a lot of Alexandre’s rather satisfying scenes in which fathers are nobly avenged and the money-grubbing villains are rubbed in the mud
I was never taught that he was Black either. WTF.
General Dumas (aka Thomas Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie) looked like this…
…and like this…
…while “Napoleon has all the presence of yesterday’s plain Tesco hummus“…
I suspect Alexandre Dumas would have laughed at that, because besides looking like someone who laughed a lot…
…he was also a foodie.
He was also born in present-day Haiti. Back then, it was the French colony of Saint-Domingue.
ooooooh well then
There are legit no limits to how much I adore Alexandre Dumas, none at all, and I will fite anyone who claims that casting a black man as a musketeer (like BBC did a few years back) is somehow wrong ALSO look at his hair that is a Fierce ‘do for someone living in the age of pomaded slick hair and artificial whipped cream-y waves.
Hogyan nem tudtam én ezt