A recent Early Music Show highlighted the work of Vicente Lusitano. Although his surname indicates that, in 16th century Rome at least, he was regarded as Portuguese, the most striking fact about him was that he was of mixed European and African heritage. It looks as if he first entered the church and then took the first opportunity to emigrate to cosmopolitan Rome to escape racism in Portugal, which could take a violent turn. It seems odd to us today that there was little racism in Elizabethan England (judging by contemporary writing) while in Portugal, which today has a better record of assimilating her former colonial citizens, the opposite was the case.
His music is distinctive, too, with pre-echoes of Gesualdo. He was the first "black" composer to be published.