This marvelous bust is one of the very few documents of an actual black person from Greek and Roman antiquity. Memnon was a pupil protégé of the well-known Athenian entrepreneur philosopher Herodes Atticus.
In 1858, the 1st Black pianist to win national fame was Thomas Greene Bethune, or “Blind Tom” (1849-1908). Born a blind slave near Columbus, GA, his talent as a composer & a pianist was soon recognized by Colonel Bethune; who purchased him in 1850. The child prodigy made his debut in Savannah, GA & for over 40 yrs amazed his audiences “with his artistry & his gift for total recall” of the more than 700 pieces that he played.