Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884–1960

Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884–1960

Cambridge University Press
September 2013
379 pages
18 b/w illus.
235 x 158 x 22 mm
Hardback ISBN: 9781107041363

Robbie Aitken, Senior Lecturer in Imperial History
Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

Eve Rosenhaft, Professor of German Historical Studies
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

This groundbreaking history traces the development of Germany’s black community, from its origins in colonial Africa to its decimation by the Nazis during World War II. Robbie Aitken and Eve Rosenhaft follow the careers of Africans arriving from the colonies, examining why and where they settled, their working lives and their political activities, and giving unprecedented attention to gender, sexuality and the challenges of ‘mixed marriage’. Addressing the networks through which individuals constituted community, Aitken and Rosenhaft explore the ways in which these relationships spread beyond ties of kinship and birthplace to constitute communities as ‘black’. The study also follows a number of its protagonists to France and back to Africa, providing new insights into the roots of Francophone black consciousness and postcolonial memory. Including an in-depth account of the impact of Nazism and its aftermath, this book offers a fresh critical perspective on narratives of ‘race’ in German history.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The first generation: from presence to community
  • 2. Should I stay and can I go? Status and mobility in the institutional net
  • 3. Settling down: marriage and family
  • 4. Surviving in Germany: work, welfare and community
  • 5. Problem men and exemplary women? Gender, class and ‘race’
  • 6. Practising diaspora – politics 1918–33
  • 7. Under the shadow of national socialism
  • 8. Refuge France?
  • Epilogue
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