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»A Black German Year: A Review Essay


Already with its title, Kinder der Befreiung sets out to change the perspective from which the story of Black Germans born to American soldiers and German mothers during and after the Second World War is told. By rejecting the term Besatzungskind (›children of the occupation‹) and choosing instead ›Children of the Liberation‹, Kraft gives a positive connotation to the conditions of their conception. This, too, is a response to the ›call‹ of Farbe bekennen: the title of the second section by May (Opitz) Ayim is ›Afro-Germans after 1945: The So-Called Occupation Babies‹. Kraft, scholar, literary critic, translator, holds that ›remembering our stories can change the present and shape the future‹, a commitment that resonates through all three books. Kraft uses Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s term ›Talking Book‹ to describe her edited volume (18). She is careful to announce that ›Life Writings‹ are not just popular stories of consternation (Betroffenheitsgeschichten). The need to distance this book from the affect of consternation speaks to a particular desire of mitigating sorrow in the representation of certain histories.«  Karina Griffith, Coalition of Women in German, WiG Yearbook 32 (2016)


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