The Black German Cultural Society™ at the Black History & Culture Showcase, Philadelphia PA Convention Center. We had a magnificent time educating the public about the first generation, binational, Post WWII US Occupation Afro-German children born in Germany. It was very gratifying to see so much interest in our experiences and history. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us! More photos HERE
The Black History and Culture Showcase was Saturday and Sunday, March 26-27, 2016 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 12th & Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 11am-6pm.
German Town: The Lost Story Of Seaford Town Jamaica
“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 islands economy.
Others think they came under different circumstances as runaway prisoners, former military battered after the Napoleonic wars seeking a better life to escape the poverty and hardships in their home lands. This documentary project explores the history and contemporary life of Jamaicans of German heritage.
Running time 55 mins
Directed by- David Ritter
Produced by- David Ritter and Clinton Wallace for photomundo international
GERMANTOWN, where the first protest against slavery was written in the new world, is a historic neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia, PA. It was founded by German Quaker and Mennonite families from Krefeld, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.
In 1688, the PETITION AGAINST SLAVERY was drafted by Francis Daniel Pastorius and signed by him and three other Quakers living in Germantown. The petition, based upon the bible’s golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” urged for the abolishment of slavery. It was also one of the first written public declarations of universal human rights. It argued that every human, regardless of belief, color, or ethnicity, had rights that should not be violated.
Remembrance of the Germantown Protest came to life again when celebrated American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1872 made Pastorius the hero of his narrative poem, “The Pennsylvania Pilgrim.” A Quaker-born abolitionist, Whittier directly addressed the meaning of Pastorius’s long forgotten legacy, ending his poem with the following words:
For, ere Pastorius left the sun and air,
God sent the answer to his life-long prayer;
The child [John Woolman] was born beside the Delaware,
Who, in the power a holy purpose lends,
Guided his people unto nobler ends,
And left them worthier of the name of Friends.
And to! the fulness of the time has come,
And over all the exile’s Western home,
From sea to sea the flowers of freedom bloom!
And joy-bells ring, and silver trumpets blow;
But not for thee, Pastorius! Even so
The world forgets, but the wise angels know.
Lt. Gen. Nadja West has been appointed as the Army’s 44th Surgeon General. With this appointment comes a promotion to lieutenant general, which makes West the Army’s first black female 3-star general as well as the highest ranking female of any race to graduate from West Point.
West started as a child in Germany five decades ago. She came into the world a mischlingskinder or “brown baby”—one of many children borne of liaisons between African American servicemen and German women. Orphaned as a baby, she was adopted at nine months by Oscar and Mabel Grammer. Oscar Grammer worked as a chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army. Mabel Grammer was a civil rights activist and journalist who, at one point, wrote for the Afro American Newspapers. Together the couple adopted 12 children; West was the youngest.
On Tuesday, February 9 (2016), Lt. Gen Nadja West will be honored in an official ceremony. The promotion and ceremony follows the 54-year-old’s confirmation by the Senate as the new Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) as of December. As such, West will be assisting and advising the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff in relation to all health care matters in the Army, in addition to overseeing development, organization, policy direction, and other matters relative to the Army-wide health care systems.
“I was once an orphan with an uncertain future,” said West of the promotion and the new responsibilities facing her in the future. “And I am incredibly honored and humbled to lead such a distinguished team of dedicated professionals who are entrusted with the care of our nation’s sons and daughters, veterans and family members. While our Army and our nation face tough challenges in the future, I am confident that collectively we have the right skills, commitment, and talent to meet those challenges with mission success,” she added.
The Washington D.C. area-native holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Doctorate of Medicine from George Washington University School of Medicine. She has held previous assignments as Commanding General, Europe Regional Medical Command; Commander of Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C.; and Division Surgeon, 1st Armored Division, Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany. Originally published here.
Black History in the making!
Lt. General Nadja West,
We Salute You!
BGCS fully supports the 2015 Adoptee Citizenship Act (S.2275). This Act is a critically needed piece of legislation pertaining to the lives of thousands of adults who were brought to the US for adoption as children, were never fully naturalized as citizens by their adoptive parents, and then fell through the cracks of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. These adults now face risk of deportation and cannot fully participate as citizens in U.S. society: they cannot vote or obtain passports, and often face difficulties in opening bank accounts, securing financial aid, obtaining a driver’s license, joining the military, obtaining marriage licenses, and finding jobs.
The 2015 Adoptee Citizenship Act closes the loophole created in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which failed to include those over age 18 at the time the Act came into effect when granting automatic citizenship. While the Act does not resolve all citizenship loopholes for internationally adopted adults, it is a major step forward in equality and justice for many.
BGCS suggests that individuals exercise caution and restraint in making decisions and taking any action in support or opposition to any legislation until they have fully educated themselves on the purpose and impact of it. We recommend that you read the actual bill, the current laws it will change, and the opinions of a variety of commentators, both for and against any legislation.
The Adoptee Citizenship Act can be found HERE. If you would like to contact your legislators to express your support for or opposition to this bill, you can look them up HERE.
Black German Cultural Society Banquet March 2015
Honoring Our Own ~ Honoring Each Other
With hearts filled with joy, compassion and understanding, German-born, Post WWII, US Occupation Babies, stand shoulder to shoulder in recognition and honor. This, in of itself, would have been enough. However, the evening was this, and so much more.
Brown Baby, Save The Children Melody by Diana Ross
(BGCS BANQUET 2015 THEME SONG)
Listen as you peruse our wonderful photographs.
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS CAN BE VIEWED ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
02/28/2015: UPDATE: WE ARE FILLED TO CAPACITY! A HARDY THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED THIS EFFORT!
“HONORING OUR OWN – HONORING EACH OTHER”
Honoring all Afro-German children, so-called German ‘Brown Babies’,
born to German women and African American soldiers in post WWII Germany.
“WE ACKNOWLEDGE YOU. WE CELEBRATE YOU. WE HONOR YOU.”
Additional details at BGCS BANQUET
If you have any questions please contact Founding President Shirley Gindler-Price at 267-251-7331 or email BGCSbanquet@gmail.com
BGCS™ German ‘Brown Baby’ Exhibit. The display of post WWII Afro-German children has become a popular exhibit at the Black History and Culture Showcase in Philadelphia , PA. Hundreds of people flock to hear about the mixed-race children fathered by African American soldiers in post-WWII Germany; many of whom were adopted by African American families and immigrated to the United States.
The Civil Rights Act was signed 50 years ago in the White House in Washington DC on July 2nd, 1964. Two Afro-Germans, Jeannine and John Kantara, husband and wife living in Germany, were asked to write about the state of civil rights in Germany for the Morgan State University‘s Winter 2014: Morgan Global Journalism Review on civil rights. Their contribution is the featured article in the Review and is a must read for anyone interested in the historic as well as the present-day experiences of people of color in Germany.
Mischlingskinder – What Civil Rights Means to Mixed-Race Germans – Civil Rights in Postwar Germany to Present. To read please click HERE or on the cover image:
Jeannine Kantara is an activist and co-founder of the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland – ISD-Bund eV (the Initiative Black People in Germany) and the black German magazine afro-look. She has written for the Die Zeit, a national weekly newspaper, as well as the daily newspaper Tageszeitung. She is also a contributing author to Black Berlin – The German metropolis and her African diaspora in the past and present.
John Amoateng Kantara is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Berlin, specializing in science and technology. He has been recognized by the German Academy for Technological Sciences, won the prestigious George-von-Holtzbrink Prize for Science Journalism and the German Journalism Prize for Space and Aeronautics. In 2013, the Otto-Brenner Foundation awarded Kantara with the prize in critical journalism for his documentary Killing Via Joystick – the Drone War and its Consequences.
From the archives of Kantara Films & Documentaries: 1971 Film About Black Germans