Skip to content

Composer, Swordsman, & Soldier: Joseph Bologne


It’s difficult to imagine being born to an enslaved African mother in 18th century France and then growing up to be one of the most celebrated composers and swordsmen in the whole country. Any one of these circumstances would be difficult on their own, but Joseph Bologne fought against the challenges to play violin at private parties for the queen and live with the famous composer, Mozart. He even led troops into battle during the French Revolution. All of this was accomplished as a Black man during a time of slavery and discrimination. Let’s go learn about his amazing story.

About Honest History

Honest History creates award-winning books, magazines, and this show for young historians across the world. Our mission is to inspire kids to create a positive impact on history themselves. 


This episode was hosted by Curtis Cook, written by Heidi Coburn, and produced by Randall Lawrence. Original theme music was written and recorded by Luke Messimer.