Black Central Europe (BCE) is the product of a network of scholars who promote the study of Black people in Central Europe’s past and present.
Even though there are around one million Black people (Africans, African Americans, Afro-Germans, etc.) in Central Europe today, many people do not know the history of the Black Diaspora to Central Europe. The assumption remains that Black people are a relatively new presence in Central Europe, and thus are historical and national outsiders.
We argue, quite simply, that Black people have always been a part of Central European history. Different events and forces brought Central Europe and the Black Diaspora together: trade, diplomacy, and the arts fostered cultural exchange. Slavery, imperialism, and war shaped the categories of race and nation that still greatly affect Black people in Central Europe today.
The mission of Black Central Europe is to further knowledge about the Black Diaspora in German-speaking Central Europe in order to challenge racialized presumptions about history, national belonging, and citizenship in the region. We do this by making available relevant teaching and research resources, by disseminating the work of Black artists, and by facilitating conversations among a wide range of stakeholders. Our website is intended for a wide audience, including scholars, artists, elementary and high school teachers and others with an interest in learning and teaching about Central Europe’s relationship to the Black Diaspora at all educational levels.
We are grateful for the support of the University of Southern Missisippi, the UCL Arena Centre, and UCL Global Engagement for generous financial support at various stages of our work.