Blacks have played a significant part in European civilization since ancient times. This encyclopedia illuminates blacks in European history, literature, and popular culture. It emphasizes the considerable scope of black influence in, and contributions to, European culture. The first blacks arrived in Europe as slaves and later as laborers and soldiers, and black immigrants today along with others are transforming Europe into multicultural states. This indispensable set expands our knowledge of blacks in Western civilization.
More than 350 essay entries introduce students and other readers to the white European response to blacks in their countries, the black experiences and impact there, and the major interactions between Europe and Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States that resulted in the settling of blacks in Europe. The range of information presented is imive, with entries on noted European political, literary, and cultural figures of black descent from ancient times to the present, major literary works that had a substantial impact on European perceptions of blacks, black holidays and festivals, the struggle for civil equality for blacks, the role and influence of blacks in contemporary European popular culture, black immigration to Europe, black European identity, and much more. Offered as well are entries on organizations that contributed to the development of black political and social rights in Europe, representations of blacks in European art and cultural symbols, and European intellectual and scientific theories on blacks. Individual entries on Britain, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Central Europe, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe include historical overviews of the presence and contributions of blacks and discussion of country's role in the African slave trade and abolition and its colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. Suggestions for further reading accompany each entry. A chronology, resource guide, and photos complement the text.