Last month, MLC’s Professor Eve Rosenhaft, together with Dr Robbie Aitken of Sheffield Hallam University, gave an interview for the New Books Network blog on their recent publication Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Diaspora Community, 1884-1960 (Cambridge University Press, 2015). The original blog from New Books Network appears below, as well as a link to the audio interview itself.
“There were black Germans?”
My students are always surprised to learn that there were and are a community of African immigrants and Afro-Germans that dates back to the nineteenth century (and sometimes earlier), and that this community has at times had an influence on German culture, society, and racial thinking that belied its small size.
Germany’s role in colonizing Africa has received increased attention lately, with an exhibit on German colonialism appearing at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in October and recent headway on a deal for Germany to pay reparations to the descendants of Herero and Nama genocide victims in Namibia. In Black Germany: The Making and Unmaking of a Disapora Community, 1884-1960, Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken supply a part of the colonial story that gets even less attention than that of Germans in Africa: what about Africans in Germany? Focusing primarily on a community of West-African-born black Germans and their families, Rosenhaft and Aitken trace the groups evolution in the nineteenth century through its persecutions by the Nazi state and postwar existence.
To access the interview, click here.