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How Alexander Pushkin Was Inspired By His African Heritage
11.03.2021 Cynthia Green
Poetry
Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin is known as the quintessential Russian writer. What many readers don’t know is that he took particular inspiration from his African great-grandfather, General Abraham Petrovitch Gannibal.

According to Anne Lounsbery, a scholar of Russian Literature, “Boyar credentials, African heritage, and a personal link to Peter the Great were all crucial to Pushkin’s identity.” Playing up his connection with Gannibal, the author adopted the nickname “afrikanets, ‘the African.” His connection with his relative showed up in other ways, too.

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