Black and German (Afrodeutsche)
News anchor Jana Pareigis has spent her entire life being asked about her skin color. What is it like to be black in Germany? What needs to change?
“Where are you from?” Jana Pareigis has heard that question since her early childhood. And she’s not alone. Black people have been living in Germany for around 400 years, and today there are an estimated one million Germans with dark skin. But they still get asked the latently racist question, “Where are you from?”
Jana Pareigis is familiar with the undercurrents of racism in the western world. When she was a child, the Afro-German TV presenter also thought her skin color was a disadvantage. “When I was young, I wanted to be white,” she says.
Parageis takes us on a trip through Germany from its colonial past up to the present day, visiting other dark-skinned Germans to talk about their experiences. They include rapper Samy Deluxe, pro footballer Gerald Asamoah and Theodor Michael, who lived as a black man in the Third Reich. They talk about what it’s like to be black in Germany.
German Town: The Lost Story of Seaford Town Jamaica
Dir: David Ritter, Documentary, Jamaica, 2015, 55mins
German Town: The Lost Story of Seaford Town Jamaica is a documentary that explores the history of German heritage within Westmoreland, Jamaica. Deep within the isolated, undeveloped mountains of Westmoreland lies a village with a history and people unique to Jamaica. It is said that the inhabitants of this village are descendants of German indentured servants who were used to work the Jamaican plantations after the emancipation period to substitute the slave labor that drove the island’s economy. Others think they came under different circumstances as runaway prisoners, former soldiers seeking a better life after the Napoleonic wars, escaping the poverty and hardships of their home lands. This documentary project explores the history and contemporary life of Jamaicans of German heritage.