Publication Date



Iris Bork-Goldfield


German Studies


English (United States)


This thesis proposes that Afro-Germans faced overt mistreatment, condemnation, persecution, and racism during three eras of modern German history, stretching from German unification in 1871 to the present day. This thesis will analyze the generally negative reactions to these interracial relationships and biracial individuals. Afro-Germans' stories remained unheard until a group of young German women in Berlin claimed the term "Afro-German" in 1986. For some, Germanness is incompatible with blackness, but Afro-Germans began a movement, claimed their identity, demanded a place in German history, and challenged the pervasive pretense of a homogeneous German nation. Finally, this thesis argues that, after more than two centuries of marginalization and struggle, Afro-Germans have begun in the last three decades, to gain recognition and expand the definition of "who is German."



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