New Book Amplifies the Experiences of Black Intellectuals Influenced by Their Visit to Germany

New Book Amplifies the Experiences of Black Intellectuals Influenced by Their Visit to Germany

In 1986, Farbe bekennen: Afro-deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte became the first book published by Black Germans.

Thirty years after the English translation, Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out, was published — the same year Black lesbian mother warrior poet Audre Lorde took her last breath — Dr. Heidi R. Lewis and Dana Maria Asbury honor this legacy with their new book In Audre’s Footsteps: Transnational Kitchen Table Talk (edition assemblage, 2021).

In Audre’s Footsteps honors Black intellectual traditions set forth by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Angela Y. Davis, and Audre Lorde, all who were influenced by their experiences in Berlin. Engaging Black and transnational feminist frameworks, In Audre’s Footsteps amplifies the resistive and generative experiences of Black and women of color intellectuals in Berlin and the U.S., examining how they resist oppression and navigate the always advantageous but sometimes contentious contours of solidarity.

In Audre’s Footsteps is the seventh edition of Ingeborg Bachmann Prize-winner Sharon Dodua Otoo‘s Witnessed Series, an English-language book series by Black writers who have lived in Germany. The book is particularly accessible for a wide range of audiences in that it uniquely features seven chapters transcribed from “kitchen table” conversations with friends of Audre Lorde, co-founders and current leaders of the first grassroots activist organization for Black German women, the author of the first single-authored book by a Black person in Germany, and more.

“This beautiful collection of intergenerational conversations underscores the power of storytelling and how it is both radical activist movement-building and intellectual rigor,” says Aishah Shahidah Simmons, winner of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s National Award for Outstanding Response to and Prevention of Sexual Violence, producer and director of NO! The Rape Documentary, and editor of Love WITH Accountability.

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