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Children of the Liberation

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


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.
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A Long Journey Home: From a German Orphanage to the Black Bourgeoisie – and Back (Ruth E. Spencer)


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A Long Journey Home: From a German Orphanage to the Black Bourgeoisie – and Back

20.  Ruth E. Spencer. Private property.

I am a very private person. I seldom talk about myself and my feelings about my experiences in Germany to anyone but my closest friends. That was a part of my life that I had put into a special compartment for most of my life. Then I met Peggy Piesche, a Black German who had come to teach for a while at the college where I am Associate Vice President of Human Resources. We became friends and she introduced me to her community of Black Germans ← 83 | 84 → and the Black German Heritage and Research Association. When she found out that I was born in Germany, she insisted that I come to Germany with her to meet other Black Germans. My best friend, Carolyn Wilkins, was adamant that I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go to Germany and helped make it happen for me. Now I am able to give voice to all my identities as an African American, a lesbian, and a Black German. I hope these words will connect with at least one person to encourage them to allow themselves to take the deeply satisfying trek of facing the unknown parts of their heritage.

As a family therapist, I knew about adoptees and that the story of my...

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