Being Black and German (2017)

In the spring of 2017 the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle supported a documentary film project exploring what it means to be black and German and how racism operates within German society. In the film, the news presenter Jana Pareigis draws on her own experiences–she was adopted and rasied by white parents and grew up questioning how she fit into German society–as she interviews a wide range of figures. She interviews prominent figures like the rapper Samy Deluxe and the footballer Gerald Asamoah, and she also engages with artists, activists, academics, and refugees on a diverse range of topics, including childhood, entertainment, history, violence, and hair. A clip featuring an interview with Theodor Wonja Michael struck a particular chord and went viral. The documentary is striking for the range of experiences outlined and for the poignancy of the complications that come from being perceived as an outsider in your own country.

Jeff Bowersox


Source: Jana Pareigis, Susanne Lenz-Gleissner, Adama Ulrich, Afro.Germany (, 2017).

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