Transatlantic Experiences and Perspectives of Black Germans of the Post-War Generation
Edited By Marion Kraft
Re-presentations and Re-definitions: Black People in Germany in the Past and Present (Marion Kraft)
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Re-presentations and Re-definitions: Black People in Germany in the Past and Present1
Like the dead-seeming cold rocks, I have memories within that came out of the material that went to make me. Time and place have had their say. So you will have to know something about the time and place where I came from, in order that you may interpret the incidents and directions of my life.
— ZORA NEALE HURSTON (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942)
This essay explores the roots of racism and brings the unique experiences of Black Germans of the post-World War II generation in line with the general history and present situation of Black People in Germany as part of the African diaspora.2 The presence of people of African descent in Germany has been multifarious and can be traced back to the early Middle Ages and beyond.3 Today, a growing number of Africans and people of African descent live in Germany. Black Germans, many of whom are of African American, Caribbean or African and white German descent, still figure as the “other”, as strangers in their homeland. Their struggle against racism and their struggle for identity and for recognition by Germany’s white mainstream are not only a matter of self-determination but also raise ← 11 | 12 → serious questions about the formation of identity in a multicultural and multi-ethnic society.
Current estimates4 of the number of Black Germans living in Germany...
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