Theory That Beethoven Was Black Leads to Glorious Memes on Twitter

Earlier this week, a Twitter user resurfaced an old theory regarding German composer Ludwig van Beethoven that's quickly become a meme on Twitter.

Beethoven Statue in New York City.

Image via Getty/Rob Kim

Beethoven Statue in New York City.

Earlier this week, a Twitter user resurfaced an old theory regarding German composer Ludwig van Beethoven that's quickly become a meme. In an article from the Concordian that was published in 2015, it is alleged that Beethoven was the son of Johann Van, a white German man, and Maria Magdalena Keverich, allegedly a Moorish woman.

While there might not be quite enough evidence to verify these claims, it's enough for Twitter to go into a frenzy.

"Beethoven was black?? Lmfao y'all ain't gonna hear the last of this from me," wrote user @howtopless, resurfacing the article where the theory appears to steam from.

"Every depiction of Beethoven is of him as a white man," the article reads, before utilizing "various credible sources" including those close to Beethoven to allege that he was Black, not white. 

While history is often whitewashed, Beethoven was born almost 250 years ago which means there's no DNA or photographs to verify his race. Despite this, it has been claimed in the article that Beethoven had a "brownish complexion." The website Black Historyutilizing Gabriel Scott's The Chosen Ones: Perception of Malcolm and Martin as a source, has also alleged that Beethoven would wear white powder on his face.

According to the San José State University's Beethoven Center, the notion stems from the belief that Beethoven's heritage was concealed by European-Americans. "The theory that he was Black is based on the fact that Beethoven’s ancestors came from the Flemish region of northern Europe that was invaded and ruled by the Spanish," the frequently asked questions section of the Beethoven Center reads. 

"Since the Moors were part of Spanish culture, it is possible that Moors were part of the invasion. This theory, however, is not based on genealogical studies of Beethoven’s past, which are available to the public. Rather, it is based on the assumption that one of Beethoven’s ancestors had a child out of wedlock."

Additionally, it is claimed that there's no evidence to support Beethoven was called Black or Moorish during his lifetime.

See what Twitter had to say about the recently resurfaced theory below.


— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) June 18, 2020

Beethoven Black Wow!!! I didn’t kno that! Let’s make one Zaytoven I mean Beethoven ✊🏾💪🏾

— QuavoYRN (@QuavoStuntin) June 18, 2020

big piano has tried for years to erase the blackness of our brother Beethoven or b. Hovin as we call him in the hood

— Desus MFing Nice💯 (@desusnice) June 18, 2020

I'm going to lose an hour today just on these Beethoven was Black videos.

— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) June 18, 2020

Streaming Beethoven all day. That nigga prolly the ancestors.

— Church Sox (@KarlousM) June 18, 2020

beethoven and zaytoven:

— edgar (@supahotfire86) June 18, 2020

Beethoven being black is wild but not as wild when you google search Zaytoven and realize that man is actually German.

— Amajahl Knowles (@3AM__MO) June 18, 2020

so which one of us is related to beethoven

— ︎J (@JAYVERSACE) June 18, 2020


Beethoven in the 1800s:

— 🐣 (@JuiceKing5x) June 18, 2020

Alls I’m asking is do we have PROOF that this isn’t Beethoven 👀

— Jared Emch (@j3mch) June 18, 2020

I was today years old when I found out that Beethoven was black

— zel (@denzeldion) June 18, 2020

When you find out why Beethoven is trending. ✊🏾😂

— DataDaveTV (@DataDaveTV) June 18, 2020

Beethoven was black?

— A Girl Has No Name (@_cherieldn) June 18, 2020

Latest in Music