our team


Rosemarie Peña, President

Dr. Rosemarie Peña, is founder and president of the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA). Her research explores displaced childhoods; particularly, the historical and contemporary intersections of adoption a child migration from the standpoint of her personal journey as a member of the postwar cohort of dual heritage Black transnational adoptees from Germany to the US. She is a devoted mother of two adult children and is in reunion with both her maternal and paternal first families residing in the US, Germany, France, Sweden and Senegal.

Carmen Geschke, Trustee

Carmen Geschke is founder and President of Protec Enterprises LLC, a Greer SC based company founded in 2004. Protec Enterprises offers multiple production capabilities and performs all types of quality services, from delivery to inspection to rework, as well as Quality Management, internal and external. 

Protec Enterprises is ISO 9001 :2000 certified, as well as a Minority Business Enterprise certified with CMSDC and a Women owned business certified with WBENC Previously she was Vice President Finance for a German based Automotive Supplier in Michigan and held the Controller position for an Automotive company located in Duncan, SC.

A native of Germany, she is a graduate of VWA Stuttgart, a Wirtschafts- & Verwaltungsakademie where she received a degree in Accounting. She is a US citizen and resides in South Carolina.

Leroy Hopkins, Trustee

Dr. Leroy Hopkins is a local historian, Millersville University professor emeritus of German, and Lancaster resident. He received his bachelor’s degree from Millersville and his Ph.D. at Harvard University.

Over the last 40 years, Professor Hopkins has been collecting, researching, and writing about Lancaster’s African American history. He has published nine articles in The Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society. He has stepped down from his role as president of the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania to do extensive research for his latest passion project: a documentary on African Americans’ history in Lancaster county.


Kevina King, Vice President

Kevina King is a Ph.D. student in German and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she earned her Master’s with a focus on Black German history, Black German music, and the Black Diaspora. She is currently working on her dissertation, entitled “Black German Resistance in the Twenty-First Century,” which examines Black German radical thought and artistic expression in digital media.

Her chapter “Black, PoC, and Migrant Lives Should Matter: Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Whiteness in Germany” in the 2018 volume Rethinking Black German Studies, edited by Tiffany Florvil and Vanessa Plumly, focuses on local struggles against racial profiling in Berlin since 2001. As the UMass DEFA Film Library’s project assistant, Kevina curated the virtual film series “Black Lives in Germany: Resilience, Art and Hope” which ran from Oct 2020 to April 2021.

Emily Frazier-Rath, Executive Director of Education Initiatives

Emily Frazier-Rath is an educator and researcher rooted in the fields of German Studies, Migration Studies, and Feminist Studies. In addition to her work for the BGHRA, she is also currently Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies at Davidson College in Davidson, NC. She earned her PhD in German Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder in May 2019, and her MA in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati in 2013. Emily’s most recent publication entitled To Be Seen and to Be Whole: Black German FLINTA* on Community, Identity, and Connection appeared in The German Quarterly in fall 2022.

Emily taught the inaugural Beginning German I class for Black German adoptees and their families in May 2022, which was made possible through the generous support of the Anderson Language and Technology Center (ALTEC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Emily’s current research centers on the pedagogical effects of engaging in transnational and transcultural dialog to build mutual understanding through deep, community-based learning in the humanities classroom. This work is informed by her collaboration with Dr. Rosemarie Peña in two courses they have introduced to the Davidson College curriculum: Black German Art & Resistance and Race, Gender, Migration.

For further info, visit her website HERE!

Sonya Donaldson, Executive Director of Media & Archives

Dr. Sonya Donaldson is Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Colby College. She is currently completing her book manuscript, Irreconcilable Differences?: Memory, History, and the Echoes of Diaspora. She has also launched a digital humanities project, “Singing the Nation into Being: Anthems and the Politics of Black Performance,” which focuses on “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” (also known as The Black National Anthem). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, where her research focused on Afro-German autobiographical narratives. Dr. Donaldson’s academic research centers on the intersections of race, gender, class, sexual identity, and technologies

Elisabeth Clarke-Hasters, Executive Director of Arts & Culture

Elisabeth Clarke-Hasters studied classical ballet and modern dance in Philadelphia, in North Carolina and at the School of American Ballet in New York She began her acting studies at age 13, and was a member of the Children’s Repertory Theatre in Philadelphia and the Poor People’s Theatre in New York. She was also a member of the Dance Theater of Harlem. She came to Europe in 1971to study at the Mudra school of Maurice Béjart, and danced with the Ballet du XXème Siècle. Before turning to choreography and teaching she worked extensively with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pina Bausch, and performed as an actress in the municipal theaters of Köln, Düsseldorf and Koblenz.

Clarke-Hasters has been a choreographer for the Salzburg Festival, the Burgtheater Wien, the Maggio Musi-cale in Florence, the Oper Leipzig, among others. She was assistant school director at the Arturo Schauspielschule in Köln, and school director at Die Etage in Berlin, where she also led the dance department until 2018. She has also developed several programs for dance in schools, specifically combining dance composition and STEM curriculum. In 2010 she completed her training as a per-sonal development coach and is presently developing several new programs, including a coaching program specifically for People of Color.

Keith Green, Executive Director of Events & Publications

Keith Green is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Africana Studies Program at Rutgers–Camden. Dr. Green’s main research and teaching interests lie in African American literature, with more specific investments in the study of the antebellum era, self-referential writing, African-Native American literature, and slave narratives. He has delivered papers on Nat Turner, Harriet Jacobs, Henry Bibb, and William Wells Brown. His current book project, Not Just Slavery: African Americans Write Captivity Narratives, Too: 1816-1879, explores the various kinds of bondage and confinement–specifically Indian slavery, Barbary captivity, and state imprisonment–African Americans experienced and recounted in the nineteenth century.

Sara Lennox, Principal Consultant

Until her retirement in May 2012, Sara Lennox was Professor of German Studies and Director of the Social Thought and Political Economy Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her books include Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters: Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann, Feminist Movements in a Globalizing World, The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and Its Legacy, and Remapping Black Germany: New Perspectives on Afro-German History, Politics, and Culture. She has published essays on twentieth-century literature, theory, feminism, postcolonialism, globalization, and transnationalism. From 2007-08 she was president of the German Studies Association. She was co-principal investigator for research grants on Black European Studies and Black German Studies.
In 1984 at the Free University of Berlin, the African American poet Audre Lorde asked her Black, German-speaking women students about their identities. The women revealed that they had no common term to describe themselves and had until then lacked a way to identify their shared interests and concerns. Out of Lorde’s seminar emerged both the term “Afro-German” (or “Black German”) and the 1986 publication of the volume that appeared in English translation as Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out. The book launched a movement that has since catalyzed activism and scholarship in Germany.
Remapping Black Germany collects thirteen pieces that consider the wide array of issues facing Black German groups and individuals across turbulent periods, spanning the German colonial period, National Socialism, divided Germany, and the enormous outpouring of Black German creativity after 1986.
In addition to the editor, the contributors include Robert Bernasconi, Tina Campt, Maria I. Diedrich, Maureen Maisha Eggers, Fatima El-Tayeb, Heide Fehrenbach, Dirk Göttsche, Felicitas Jaima, Katja Kinder, Tobias Nagl, Katharina Oguntoye, Peggy Piesche, Christian Rogowski, and Nicola Lauré al-Samarai.

Angelica Fenner, Consultant

Angelica Fenner is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and German and Associate Chair of Graduate Study in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. She is author of Race Under Reconstruction in German Cinema (U of Toronto Press, 2011), co-editor of The Autobiographical Turn in Germanophone Documentary and Experimental Film, and various articles and book chapters on the thematics of migration in European cinemas.

*The BGHRA is a 501c3 Tax Exempt Organization*

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