Tiffany N. Florvil

Apr 12, 2021

Mobilizing Black Germany

Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement

University of Illinois Press 2020

In this globe-spanning work, Florvil uncovers the manifold activities Black German women undertook in the 1980s and 1990s to resist and challenge racism, sexism, and homophobia at home and abroad. Through their grassroots organizing, fellowship with members of the African Diaspora, and political and cultural practices, they created spaces to examine and critique German conceptions of national identity that often excluded Black Germans from the nation. As Black Germans strove to fight against racial and gender oppression, they fostered connections with other members of the African Diaspora and created transnational intellectual, political, and affective ties to support them in times of crisis. Florvil demonstrates how the activist groups Initiative of Black Germans (ISD) and Afro-German Women (ADEFRA) consciously cultivated their own identities and histories so as not to be further erased by their fellow Germans. By excavating the legacy of German colonialism and the racial politics of post-1945 East and West Germany, Florvil illustrates the numerous obstacles Black German activists faced—and continue to face—to be recognized as fully-fledged citizens, and how their connections with the African diasporic community aided and embraced them in their struggles.

Sandie Holguín (Co-Editor, Journal of Women’s History; Professor of History, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Tiffany N. Florvil (Associate Professor of History and affiliate of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, Institute for the Study of ‘Race’ & Social Justice, University of New Mexico) about her book, Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (U Illinois Press, 2020).

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