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For the past few years, the media has seemed to be on a campaign to convince African-American women we are the unhealthiest, least educated, most undesirable, and least likely to get married women on the planet.
And while the numbers don’t bear this out (we are kicking ass in college, and by 35, 75 percent of sistas are married), the media keeps harping on our supposed crisis.
Although it’s still experiencing the growing pains that comes with any changing society, Germany is a place where black people can—and do—thrive. There has been a black presence in Germany since the 1720s, when Ghanaian Anton Wilhelm Amo studied at the University of Helmstedt. One of those is Marisha Johnson, a 25-year-old healthcare worker from the United States whose husband is in the Army.
Today on Young Germany we’ll be answering many of the frequently asked questions black expatriates have about life in Germany. Today, according to a 2009 report from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, there are an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 black people living in Germany. “I really didn’t know what I was getting into,” said Johnson, laughing, when asked what she expected to find in Germany.
In addition to its native population of Afro-Germans , some of whom trace their lineage back to 19th century immigrants from German-controlled colonies, Germany’s black population consists of people from people from Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Currently six months into a three-year stay, Johnson and her husband live on an American military base in Wiesbaden.
Like many expats whose careers or spouse’s careers bring them to Germany, she said she “…really didn’t know what to expect.” Neither did Stacie Graham, Ph.
“I knew what [high school German teachers] taught us:..broad strokes of beer, wurst, lederhosen, industriousness.” The Germany she’s found has contained that, and more, although she says that a more definitive and complex definition of what it means to be German continues to elude her.
Though I thought I had considered every possible scenario I could encounter on my journey moving to a foreign country, what I never considered what it would mean for me — as a Black and African woman.These questions are from the other men I have met, not only in Germany, but also in my travels in Europe.