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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.
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African Diaspora: Critical Reflections on a Concept (Marion Kraft)

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MARION KRAFT

African Diaspora: Critical Reflections on a Concept

In cultural studies and social sciences, the term “African diaspora” has established itself in various discourses on post-colonial social formations of people of African descent. In this volume, we use it primarily in the context of transatlantic relations and their influence on the development of African European identities. With regard to various global developments, however, this term is not quite unproblematic, especially where Black Germans are concerned. Although an in-depth study of definitions would go beyond the scope of this chapter, I will briefly outline the problematic nature of this term.

By critically examining the term “African diaspora” we can avoid the danger of making false assumptions. The first of these assumptions is the idea that Africa is not a continent of different ethnicities, nations, histories and cultures, but a homogeneous country. On the other hand, from a biological perspective, the term could suggest a sameness of all people whose ancestors, in the past and the present, forcibly or voluntarily, left the African continent. This would not only support existing white European stereotypes of Africa, but contribute to the negation of the variety, diversity, and richness of African cultures. It is this richness of African cultures that different people of African descent have incorporated into their self-understanding, thereby counteracting European racist notions. At the same time, however, particularly for Black Germans, this does not mean that Africa automatically becomes the basis...

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