Posts Tagged ‘brown babies’

 

UMASS Recognizes Growing Interdisciplinary Study of Black Germans in Academia

Doctoral student Kevina King (far left) on a panel this weekend with Jemele Watkins (far right) at the third Black German Heritage & Research Association International Conference held at Amherst College.

Doctoral student Kevina King (far left) on a panel this weekend with Jemele Watkins (far right) at the third Black German Heritage & Research Association International Conference held at Amherst College.

AMHERST, Mass.—In an effort to recognize a relatively young academic discipline that many in the academy have never heard of before, nearly a hundred students and scholars gathered at Amherst College over the weekend to discuss their research and ideas for how to grow Black German Studies.

This marks the third year that the Black German Heritage & Research Association sponsored the international conference, which highlighted a variety of interdisciplinary topics ranging from Black Germans during the Third Reich to their ongoing presence in German theater.

Like African American, Women and Queer studies, Black German Studies has an admitted social justice focus, says Dr. Sara Lennox, a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an early founder of the Black German Studies movement in the U.S. “We’ve made the field legitimate. You can now do this work and get tenure,” says Lennox, who was chiefly responsible for jumpstarting the Black German Studies concentration at UMASS Amherst. “It’s kind of a burgeoning field and movement. The other thing that’s really cool is there is a pretty strong connection between activism and scholarship and a really strong connection with the experimental … Black Germans talking about their stories.”

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2012 Convention Videos Now Online!

Max Kade Foundation Keynote Address

Yara-Colette Lemke Muniz de Faria (GHI-Berlin)

‘In their Best Interest…’Afro-German Children in Postwar German Children’s Homes

VIEW ALL VIDEOS ON CONVENTION WEBSITE!

 

 

 

Reflections on the “Brown Babies” in Germany: the Black Press and the NAACP

By Yara-Colette Lemke Muniz de Faria

Rosemarie Peña's Passport

Between 1945 and 1955, an estimated 67,770 children were born to soldiers of the occupying forces and German women in the Federal Republic of Germany. Of these children, 4,776 children were the children of African American and Moroccan soldiers. The fate of this generation of Afro-German children (or “brown babies” as they were called in the U.S.) was the focus of public interest both in West Germany and the U.S.

During the 1940s and 50s, popular and scholarly publications in both countries printed detailed reports on these “brown babies” (“Mischlingskinder”) who were the subject of intense political and pedagogical debates and controversies. Indeed, both state institutions and private organizations in Germany and in the U.S. devoted considerable time and effort to planning out their lives. What underlay the public debate on the fate of Afro-German children both in postwar Germany and the U.S. was a very specific construction of their heritage—one that defined them as essentially “fremd” (both in the sense of “strange” and “Other” and, at the same time, “foreign” or “alien”), “not belonging and at risk in Germany.” Their German nationality and their socialization in the country of their birth were, thus, only of secondary interest. In other words, their national and cultural heritage were regarded as contrasting directly with their race. Consequently, an ambivalent and contradictory attitude developed toward them both in hypothetical discussions and in the concrete actions taken in their name. The debate around these Afro-German children reveals a paradoxical and shifting dynamic of caretaking and marginalization, inclusion and exclusion. Complete Article & Photo Gallery here….

 

Geteilte Geschichte: Noah Sow und Rosemarie Peña in neuer Buchveröffentlichung

Mitten im Black History Month 2011 erschien soeben im teNeues Verlag das Buch „Briefe bewegen die Welt, Band II – Liebe, Schicksal, Leidenschaft“ (herausgegeben von Hellmuth Karasek), in dem auch ein Brief Rosemarie Peñas an mich zu lesen ist.

In diesem Brief wird ein oft verdecktes Stück deutscher Nachkriegsgeschichte sichtbar.

In den Jahren nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg kamen in Deutschland viele Kinder zur Welt, die aus Beziehungen zwischen Schwarzen Soldaten der Alliierten und weißen deutschen Frauen stammten. Dass man diese Kinder nicht gerade willkommen hieß, lassen bereits die rassistischen Bezeichnungen der damaligen Zeit erahnen.

Deutschland und die USA berieten über Möglichkeiten, afrodeutsche Kinder in die Staaten auszusiedeln, damit amerikanische Paare sie adoptieren konnten.
Ihre Kinder zur Adoption freizugeben, wurde von deutscher Seite auch jenen Müttern nahe gelegt, die ihre Kinder selbst aufziehen wollten. Gerade „solche“ Kinder – so die scheinheilige Begründung – hätten es in den USA viel leichter, weil sie wegen der dortigen Bevölkerungsstruktur unter „ihresgleichen“ wären und besser integriert werden könnten. Die Wahrheit ist eine andere: Der Rassenwahn des Nationalsozialismus lag erst wenige Jahre zurück, und dem Adenauerstaat war an einer Auseinandersetzung darüber nicht gelegen. In einem Deutschland, das sich grundsätzlich als weiß verstand, passten Schwarze Babys nicht ins Bild. MEHR….

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