The African-German Experience: Critical Essays

The African-German Experience: Critical Essays

The African-German Experience: Critical Essays

The African-German Experience: Critical Essays

Synopsis

A collection of critical and theoretical essays that seek to take an in-depth look at the socio-political and historical roots of the African-German presence in today's Germany. The essays examine the African Germans and "otherness," with vivid descriptions of personal accounts and observations as well as rich information about Germany's colonial history and about being black in Germany through the pre- and post-World War II era. The volume also provides personal accounts of transitional changes in African-German daily life. German racism is an everyday occurrence in the lives of African Germans, and this volume reveals how they cope with this harsh reality.

Excerpt

Carol Aisha Blackshire-Belay

Perhaps, with the exception of the old Soviet Union, no European nation has undergone as many dramatic changes in its political and social landscape as Germany. Yet few people realize how these changes have impacted on the lives of African Germans, a population of African-descended people who have lived in Germany for at least two centuries. This volume of critical essays on the African-German experience seeks to establish the position-culturally, politically, and socially-of the African Germans in the larger context of the historic changes that have taken place in German society.

The work of several Germanists who have devoted considerable time and energy to discovering the "hidden" history of African Germans is presented in this volume. the aim is to analyze the way African Germans have presented themselves and the way others have viewed them. But beyond this are the varied manifestations of identity, ethnicity, and self-perception found in the African-German community.

Of course, to speak of the African-German community may be a misnomer. Although there are 300,000 African Germans, there is no community of African Germans equivalent to the African-American communities of North Philadelphia, Detroit, or Harlem. However, there is, in a sense, a community of culture, or a psychological attachment to community, based upon the similarity of experiences.

All of the chapters here are innovative in their own ways. All are of special note and make this book unique in focusing on conceptual problems that are fundamental in discussing the African-German experience in particular and the struggle of all blacks in the diaspora in general. They either address . . .

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