Not So Plain as Black and White: Afro-German Culture & History, 1890-2000

Not So Plain as Black and White: Afro-German Culture & History, 1890-2000

University of Rochester Press
266 pages
Pages: 266
Size: 9 x 6
Hardback 13 Digit ISBN: 9781580461832
Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Edited by

Patricia M. Mazón, Associate Professor of History
State University of New York, Buffalo

Reinhild Steingröver, Assistant Professor of German
University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music

Since the Middle Ages, Africans have lived in Germany as slaves and scholars, guest workers and refugees. After Germany became a unified nation in 1871, it acquired several African colonies but lost them after World War I. Children born of German mothers and African fathers during the French occupation of Germany were persecuted by the Nazis. After World War II, many children were born to African American GIs stationed in Germany and German mothers. Today there are 500,000 Afro-Germans in Germany out of a population of 80 million. Nevertheless, German society still sees them as “foreigners,” assuming they are either African or African American but never German.

In recent years, the subject of Afro-Germans has captured the interest of scholars across the humanities for several reasons. Looking at Afro-Germans allows us to see another dimension of the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century ideas of race that led to the Holocaust. Furthermore, the experience of Afro-Germans provides insight into contemporary Germany’s transformation, willing or not, into a multicultural society. The volume breaks new ground not only by addressing the topic of Afro-Germans but also by combining scholars from many disciplines.

Table of Contents

  1. Dangerous Liaisons: Race, Nation, and German Identity
  2. The First Besatzungskinder: Afro-German Children, Colonial Childrearing Practices, and Racial Policy in German Southwest Africa, 1890-1914
  3. Converging Specters of an Other Within: Race and Gender in Pre- 1945 Afro-German History
  4. Louis Brody and the Black Presence in German Film Before 1945
  5. Narrating “Race” in 1950s’ West Germany: The Phenomenon of the Toxi Films
  6. Will Everything Be Fine? Anti-Racist Practice in Recent German Cinema
  7. Writing Diasporic Identity: Afro-German Literature since 1985
  8. The Souls of Black Volk: Contradiction? Oxymoron?
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