Until recently, scholars assumed that the Elizabethans were both white and English and that they didn’t know people of color. But if that’s the case, why did Shakespeare, the best-known Elizabethan (after Elizabeth herself, of course) write so many plays that include black characters? And who is the mysterious dark lady of the sonnets? Imtiaz Habib (Old Dominion University) is unearthing proof of sizable numbers of transplanted people of color living in London during Shakespeare’s lifetime.
Also featured: Bill Kemp (Mary Washington College) discusses the similarities between the advent of the printing press and—600 years later—the Internet.
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