<i>afro look</i>: Die Geschichte einer Zeitschrift von schwarzen Deutschen

2000 2000

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation examines the first ten years in the publication of a literary and cultural magazine by and about Black Germans and Blacks living in Germany: afro look. The dissertation demonstrates that, in trying to develop a discourse to position themselves within German society, Black Germans are faced with a linguistic gap: they can not easily build upon the discourse advanced in race studies because the very notion of race has been discredited in Germany.

My analysis of afro look shows that, with the emergence of a strong Black consciousness, Black Germans are developing new terminologies to depict and analyze their experience. An increasing number of Black Germans now refer to themselves as Blacks or Afro-Germans . The term Black may denote ethnic origin, and/or occasionally represent a political statement as well. The hyphenated identity Afro-German affirms a unique linkage with a Black and German heritage.

In chapter two I present an introductory overview delineating the history of Blacks in Germany. This places the history of afro look in a wider context.

Chapter three examines how Black Germans, in their search for a Black identity, are simultaneously developing a stronger Black community. In this effort, linguistic visibility proves crucial in building a self-determined social identity.

Chapter four investigates the role of Black (and white) women within the context of afro look. To a great extent, Black women position themselves outside traditional western feminist discourse.

Chapter five examines how Black Germans express their unique experiences in poetic form. Poetry gives these authors immediate access to their inner feelings: they make strong statements about Black German identity and the interconnectedness between ethnic and personal identities.

This dissertation affirms that independent subjecthood can only be achieved after individuals have developed the ability to perform actions outside the discursive parameters constructed for them by society. Black Germans' hyphenated background places them both inside and outside the racial paradigm. Afro look proves its uniqueness, in having provided—for more than a decade—one independently minded forum that documents the continuing formation of Black German identity.

Indexing (details)

Germanic literature;
Minority & ethnic groups;
African Americans
0311: Germanic literature
0631: Minority & ethnic groups
0631: Sociology
0325: African Americans
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Afro-German; Black Germans; Ethnicity
<i>afro look</i>: Die Geschichte einer Zeitschrift von schwarzen Deutschen
Jobatey, Francine
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 61/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780599844605, 0599844604
Lennox, Sara
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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