Rosemarie Peña’s essay, “Black Germans: Reunification and Belonging in Diaspora,” opens the edited volume released in paperback and for Kindle Reader on November 1, 2016, just in time for National Adoption Month on Amazon.com.
Fostered & Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space
Project: The AN-YA Project is dedicated to empowering the voices of all adopted and persons who were fostered. In their next upcoming manuscript— The AN-YA Project is thrilled to announce that it will co-edit an incredible anthology with nationally known adoption, race educator and activist, Susan Harris O’Connor, on a book solely dedicated to Black Adoptees and Black Persons who were fostered. It will be the first global anthology of its kind to bring together those who are connected by the Black/African Diaspora in adoption and foster care. This includes those who are multi-racial/ethnic who have or believe they have Black/African parentage. This anthology will be a collection of personal encounters, viewpoints, artistic expressions, artistic interpretations, and goals for the direction fostered & adult adoptees are headed.
For submission details, visit HERE.
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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A five-year-old girl suddenly appears on the doorstep of a well-to-do Hamburg family. The members of the multi-generational, white household react differently to the arrival of Toxi, who is black, the daughter of an African-American G.I. and a white German woman who has died. Eventually Toxi works her way into the hearts of this German family, but then her father returns, hoping to take Toxi back to America with him.
At the time of the film’s release in 1952, there were between 3,000 and 5,000 children of Allied paternity born since WWII living in West Germany. Toxi was the first feature-length film to explore the subject of “black occupation children” in postwar Germany and premiered when the first generation of these children began entering German schools, creating a public awareness of this situation. Robert A. Stemmle, one of the most popular West German directors and known for his unique blend of social realism and melodrama, brought together an exceptionally renowned set of classic German actors with diverse experiences of the Nazi era, including Paul Bildt, Johanna Hofer and Elisabeth Flickenschildt.
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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….