Being Black in Germany

Sharon Dodua Otoo is hoping to edit the book series ‘Witnessed’, written in English by black authors, who live or have lived in Germany. She says:

The idea for the series came to me one day as I thought about how little people know about life in Germany as a Black person – or how dated this knowledge is. Even within Germany, discourse around ethnicity and diversity goes something like this: “if the foreigners learn German, they will integrate then there will be no problems”. And yet, Black people have lived in Germany for over 300 years. Black Germans can be found in all fields from science to art, from education to sport, from music to entrepreneurship. Where there are problems, these rarely have to do with lack of proficiency in the German language. It is (…) incredible how little voice Black people within Germany have, despite decades of activism, academic research, creative publications and performances. So I thought – fine! If we don’t find recognition within Germany, we surely can on an international stage.

There are also these video presentations of some of the project participants: Philipp Khabo Kopsell, Joshua Kwesi Aikins and Mirjam Nunning.

All the details here.



  1. Even in 2011, being Black in Germany still means that people automatically think you are a foreigner. I don't know how long it will take until German society will come to understand that you can be both, dark-skinned AND German.

    1. Are Whites really seen as Africans by Black Africans? Because if they are, why is the race always an issue among Blacks when Whites are in control? Shouldn't it just be seen as one tribe having power over another as in the case of many Black African countries? Race seems to become a moral issue when Whites have more power then Blacks but not the other way around.

  2. I for my case have come to the following opinion: If you happen to be black in Germany, no matter how good integrated (whatever that might mean) one is, you will never be German or threated by your fellow citizens as one of them. The reason is, as I have come to believe , that only ethnic heritage (and this means being white) will allow you to somewhat “disguise” yourself. This means that if a russian or bulgarian only happens to master German well enough, he will pass as a true “German”.

  3. OOppps …that wasn`t complet!! Here the following text:
    Whereas a dark person always will be recognized as a “foreigner” and be threated as such.
    It might be unfair to many Germans but a racist character is still and probably will remain for quite long part of their mentality.
    On the other hand, yes, even in Africa african are “racist”! This starts with the widespread belief that all europeans are wealthy to the outrageous behaviour against parts of their own (white) population as the government of Simbabwe practises.
    To sum things up: Humans are the product of evolution. The last such evolutionary change
    happened in the Stone Age. ” My group is threatened by any foreign group that comes in our valley and consumpts prey, water and women”. So seen by this way, everyone who looks different is automatically an outsider and therefore dangerous!!

  4. frist let me say bullsh_t, my grandfather left germany in 1916, beimg a german jew he knew touble was coming he married my grandmothet who was a black woman from philadelphia,my grandfather always spole spoke german with us and we leared german.true in 1960 an 1970″s black people were careful arould who they spoke german but times has changed

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