Chevalier de Saint George was called “Le Mozart Noir” or the black Mozart for his musical accomplishments.

Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint George was an unlikely superstar in the annals of history.

Born on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1745 to a slave mother and a French colonialist father, Saint George went on to become a musical and military leader in France. For his musical accomplishments he came to be called “Le Mozart Noir” or the black Mozart.

In honor of Black History Month the International Studies and Programs at the University of Missouri St. Louis will show two screenings of “Black Mozart in Cuba (Mozart Noir a Cuba)” at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the Student Government Association Chamber at the Millennium Student Center at UMSL. The film is free and open to the public.

The documentary will be in English. Every year, Cuba, dedicates a week of cultural activities to the memory of Saint-George and welcomes him as “a great hero of the Caribbean.”

Saint-George was an accomplished composer and violin virtuoso who was the first black man to lead France’s most important orchestras. As a colonel he led an army in the French Revolution.

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez