Germany and the Black Diaspora: Points of Contact, 1250-1914

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2013-07-15 15:37Z by Steven

Germany and the Black Diaspora: Points of Contact, 1250-1914

Berghahn Books
July 2013
262 pages
25 ills, 2 maps, bibliog., index
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-85745-953-4
eBook ISBN: 978-0-85745-954-1

Edited by:

Mischa Honeck, Research Fellow
German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.

Martin Klimke, Associate Professor of History
New York University, Abu Dhabi

Anne Kuhlmann, Research Fellow in Russian History
Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States, Berlin

The rich history of encounters prior to World War I between people from German-speaking parts of Europe and people of African descent has gone largely unnoticed in the historical literature—not least because Germany became a nation and engaged in colonization much later than other European nations. This volume presents intersections of Black and German history over eight centuries while mapping continuities and ruptures in Germans’ perceptions of Blacks. Juxtaposing these intersections demonstrates that negative German perceptions of Blackness proceeded from nineteenth-century racial theories, and that earlier constructions of “race” were far more differentiated. The contributors present a wide range of Black–German encounters, from representations of Black saints in religious medieval art to Black Hessians fighting in the American Revolutionary War, from Cameroonian children being educated in Germany to African American agriculturalists in Germany’s protectorate, Togoland. Each chapter probes individual and collective responses to these intercultural points of contact.


  • List of Figures
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction / Mischa Honeck, Martin Klimke, and Anne Kuhlmann
    • Chapter 1. The Calenberg Altarpiece: Black African Christians in Renaissance Germany / Paul Kaplan
    • Chapter 2. Black Masques: Notions of Blackness in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries / Kate Lowe
    • Chapter 3. Ambiguous Duty: Black Servants at German Ancien Régime Courts / Anne Kuhlmann
    • Chapter 4. Real and Imagined Africans in German Court divertissements / Rashid-S. Pegah
    • Chapter 5. From American Slaves to Hessian Subjects: Silenced Black Narratives of the American Revolution / Maria Diedrich
    • Chapter 6. The German Reception of African American Writers in the Long Nineteenth Century / Heike Paul
    • Chapter 7. “On the Brain of the Negro”: Race, Abolitionism, and Friedrich Tiedemann’s Scientific Discourse on the African Diaspora / Jeannette Eileen Jones
    • Chapter 8. Liberating Sojourns? African American Travelers in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Germany / Mischa Honeck
    • Chapter 9. Global Proletarians, Uncle Toms and Native Savages: The Antinomies of Black Identity in Nineteenth-Century Germany / Bradley Naranch
    • Chapter 10. We Shall Make Farmers of Them Yet: Tuskegee’s Uplift Ideology in German Togoland / Kendahl Radcliffe
    • Chapter 11. Education and Migration: Cameroonian School Children and Apprentices in the German Metropole, 1884-1914 / Robbie Aitken
  • Afterword: Africans in Europe: New Perspectives / Dirk Hoerder
  • Select Bibliography
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index
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A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany

Posted in Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2011-07-30 05:24Z by Steven

A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany

Palgrave Macmillan
September 2010
282 pages
6 x 9 1/4 inches, Includes: 50 pgs illus
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-230-10473-0, ISBN10: 0-230-10473-8
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-230-10472-3, ISBN10: 0-230-10472-X

Maria Höhn, Professor of History
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York

Martin Klimke, Research Fellow
German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.

Based on an award-winning international research project and photo exhibition, this poignant and beautifully illustrated book examines the experiences of African American GIs in Germany and the unique insights they provide into the civil rights struggle at home and abroad. Thanks in large part to its military occupation of Germany after World War II, America’s unresolved civil rights agenda was exposed to worldwide scrutiny as never before. At the same time, its ambitious efforts to democratize German society after the defeat of Nazism meant that West Germany was exposed to American ideas of freedom and democracy to a much larger degree than many other countries. As African American GIs became increasingly politicized, they took on a particular significance for the Civil Rights Movement in light of Germany’s central role in the Cold War. While the effects of the Civil Rights Movement reverberated across the globe, Germany represents a special case that illuminates a remarkable period in American and world history.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Closing Ranks: World War I and the Rise of Hitler
  • Fighting on Two Fronts: World War II and Civil Rights
  • “We Will Never Go Back to the Old Way Again”: African American GIs and the Occupation of Germany
  • Setting the Stage for Brown: Desegregating the Army in Germany
  • Bringing Civil Rights to East and West: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Cold War Berlin
  • Revolutionary Alliances: The Rise of Black Power
  • Heroes of the Other America: East German Solidarity with the African American Freedom Struggle
  • A Call for Justice: The Racial Crisis in the Military and the GI Movement
  • Epilogue
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