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Black History Month in Germany

Update: (scroll down for English version and for videos)

The Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Center for political Education) offers an overview of what Black History Month means in the German context:

Der Black History Month (kurz: BHM) steht seit der Wahl des ersten afroamerikanischen Präsidenten nicht nur in den USA im besonderen Blick politischer Bildnerinnen und Bildner. Im Kern geht es darum, die Öffentlichkeit im Kontext politischer Bildung über soziale, kulturelle und politische Einflüsse der Schwarzen Gemeinschaft zu informieren und eine Plattform für einen Gedankenaustausch zu bieten mit dem Ziel, Erkenntnisse über den gesellschaftspolitischen Beitrag der Black Community zu gewinnen. In den USA und in Großbritannien hat der BHM eine langjährige Tradition, wohingegen er in Europa, mithin in Deutschland, vergleichsweise ein Schattendasein führt.

In Berlin wird der diesjährige BHM vom Verein “Clear Blue Water” organisiert. Namhafte Vertreterinnen und Vertreter stellen die Einbindung relevanter Vereinsstrukturen der Black Community in der Hauptstadt sicher. Strategisch werden damit alle wichtigen Partnerinnen und Partner aus diesem Bereich angesprochen und für Belange der politischen Bildung sensibilisiert.

Im BHM-Konzept des Vereines heisst es dazu:

The Black History Month in Germany will be celebrated in different scale in different federal states. This year’s celebration coincides with the 125th anniversary of the Congo Berlin Conference that greatly influenced the fate of continental Africa and its Diasporas. The proposed program will also be part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Games in Africa. Therefore, this program has rallied numerous organisations and individuals both from the diasporas and German community. Besides creating the coordination and organisational platform that will allow and encourage people to learn about, pay tribute to, and celebrate the contributions of the African Diaspora Community throughout the world, the African-Union African Diasporas 6th region organisation in Germany, seeks to encourage African Diasporas organisations at this event to develop all year programs that identify the strength, weaknesses and opportunities of the Diasporas as well as to develop the necessary capacities to enable them to be fully integrated in the German society.
This year Black History Month is built on the successful event organised in the past year by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD). Our aim is to educate and inform the general public about the uniqueness, history, the strength, and the contribution of the African Diaspora in fostering economic, social and cultural integration both in Germany and in the African continent.

For the second time some German cities are celebrating Black History Month. Here’s a video of an interview with BHM organizer John Eichler:

Teil 2/Part 2:

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About GG

Gundolf Graml is Associate Prof. and Dir. of German Studies at Agnes Scott College. He has a Ph.D. in German Studies from the University of Minnesota and has published articles on German and Austrian film and tourism. He is currently writing a book about tourism and Austrian national identity after 1945. Other research projects include critical whiteness studies and, most recently, investigations into the connection between memory and nature. At ASC, Gundolf Graml teaches courses on a broad range of topics, from German 101 to German and Austrian Cinema and Afro-German History and Culture.

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