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Children of the Liberation

Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation

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Edited By Marion Kraft

This volume was originally published in German in 2015, commemorating the end of World War II seventy years earlier and acknowledging the contribution of African American soldiers to Germany’s liberation from fascist rule. Using an interdisciplinary approach, it collects the voices of some of the descendants of these World War II heroes. In this volume, Black Germans of this post-war generation relate and analyse their experiences from various perspectives. Historical, political and research essays alongside life writing, interviews and literary texts form a kaleidoscope through which a new perspective on an almost forgotten part of German history and US American–German relationships is conveyed. The collection explores causes and consequences of racism in the past and in the present as well as developing strategies for achieving positive changes.

CONTENTS: Part I: Black People in Germany – Marion Kraft: Re-presentations and Re-definitions: Black People in Germany in the Past and Present – Part II: Life Writing: Witnessed History – Lita Littles Wimbley: Else Lindenbeck and Leslie Littles: An African American-German Family History – Ruth E. Spencer: A Long Journey Home: From a German Orphanage to the Black Bourgeoisie – and Back – Roy Merz: Unexpected Encounters with the Past – Thomas Usleber: Which Figure Does Not Belong? About the Impossibility of Belonging – Ria Cheatom: Ways Out of Isolation – Mike Reichel: Black Police Officer and Activist – Jasmin Eding: One Family, Two Continents – Ika Hügel-Marshall: Crossing Borders, Overcoming Boundaries – Helga Emde: Bridges – Eleonore Wiedenroth-Coulibaly: Germany: A Springtime Tale – Part III: Change of Perspective – Tracey O. Patton: “Because We’re Embarrassed”: Memory, Post-memory and Relections on “Race” and Rejection – Rosemarie Peña: Stories Matter: Experiences of Black German Adoptees in the U.S. – Marion Kraft: Searching for Traces: Discontinuity and Identity in African American-German Autobiographies – Bärbel Kampmann: Black Germans: Social Realities and Problems of a Neglected Minority – Judy Gummich: Inclusion: Different Perspectives on a Principle of Human Rights – Marion Kraft: African Diaspora: Critical Relections on a Concept – Part IV: Remembrance of Changes and Breakthroughs – Ika Hügel-Marshall: ADEFRA: How It All Began – a Conversation with Ria Cheatom, Jasmin Eding and Judy Gummich – Marion Kraft: From Champion Boxer and Prison Inmate to Social Worker: A Conversation with Charly Graf – Part V: The Power of Language: Poems – Helga Emde: Changes – Thomas Usleber: The Ballad of Mr. Sample – Thomas Usleber: The Silence – Eleonore Wiedenroth-Coulibaly: The Power of Words – Empowerment – May Ayim: Distant Connections – Audre Lorde: A Litany for Survival