There are over 1 million Black people in Central Europe today.
Most Europeans still don’t know of the long history of the Black Diaspora in their countries. As a result, there is a general assumption that Black people are a relatively new presence on the continent and thus are historical and national outsiders. Through historical investigation, Black Central Europe challenges these assumptions.

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Our Mission

Our mission is both to show the historical presence of Black people and to understand how racialized ideas of history, national belonging, and citizenship have been produced and adapted over time. By challenging these and drawing attention to other ways of thinking about who belongs in society, we can undermine the exclusionary ideas that continue to trouble us today.

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How to use the website

Browse through our Collection of hundreds of historical documents, images, and multimedia sources, or check out our Interactive Maps. You can follow our links to Activist organizations and also enjoy creative projects and reporting in Videos. Whether you’re a teacher looking for material for a lesson, a researcher looking for new perspectives, an artist looking for inspiration, or someone just looking to learn more about Central Europe’s connection to the Black Diaspora, you’re welcome here. Let us know what you think!

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Introducing our collection

In our extensive Collection, you can find a wide range of sources that trace the history of the Black Diaspora in Central Europe from as early as 1000 AD until the present day. The sources include paintings, photographs, letters, excerpts of novels, sculptures, newspaper articles and much more. We have organized them into historical categories: 1000-1500, 1500-1750, 1750-1850, 1850-1914, 1914-1945, 1945-1989, and 1989-today. Small icons indicate what type of source you find when you follow the link (text, image, etc). For many of the early sources you will find both English and German pages; we are still working on making the website fully bilingual.

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Interactive maps

Black central europe

This map of Black Central Europe produced by our students aims to render visible what has long been invisible: the history of Black people in Central Europe. Use your mouse to move around the map and click on the colorful dots to discover more about the Black person who was active there.

African-american entertainers before the jazz age

This interactive map plots the performances of African-American singers, dancers, and instrumentalists in the German lands up to the First World War. Click on the image to go directly to the map, where you can filter the results by year, zoom in and out to see which cities or regions had the most performers at different times, and find more details about the performances. This resource is aimed at illustrating the significant presence of African-American entertainers before the jazz age and stimulating further research.