Black Lives in Germany – racism hidden and overt | DW Documentary

published on June 29, 2020


Rubinius colada with where am I now

where's my place on this earth am I on

an earth where all human lives are worth

the same or am I on an earth where my

life is worth something in spite of my

dark skin I never thought the one ruled

out the other I didn't think that as a

human being with human rights my rights

could be denied to me

systematically day for day sometimes

covertly and sometimes overtly I've

inherited trauma I've inherited pain and

that pain is indescribable and this

mountain describe I grew up in Stuttgart

and attended a high school with over

2000 students and pretty much all my

friends were white I didn't look like

they did and didn't do the same things

at home that they did they didn't eat

the same dishes I did and they didn't

party like we did everything was just

different and in a way I always had the

feeling I had two identities and had to

adjust depending on who I happened to be

hanging out with

yeah the punk dancing gave me a feeling

of belonging because it didn't matter

what skin colour I had or who I was

friends with all that mattered was

dancing and having fun foreigner life is

easier in Berlin than elsewhere she has

found her community here you can run

into a group of Nazis at night here too

it's not like it isn't dangerous to be

black or have a migrant background and

it's not just about the things people

say not just name-calling but things

like oh what you're at a university or

what you were at a preparatory school

I'm thinking what's wrong with me going

to preparatory school or studying these

things make it hard to feel at home

because you don't look like the others

and don't have your roots here even

though I was born here speak the

language and I'm at university she

doesn't want to hear the question

where do you originally come from

anymore as a black person you know when

you bring a child into this world that

it's going to be black and you ask

yourself do I really want to bring a

child into the kind of world we're

living in I don't know what'll happen to

my child when he or she goes to school

who will my child run into on the street

at night

bazan and her brother Joseph often like

to play basketball in the Berlin

neighborhood they were born and raised

here but they're also very familiar with

a feeling of not belonging sometimes you

hear the big kids at my school use the

n-word and unfortunately I can't do

anything on my own about that I have to

go to the teachers and they take care of

everything but you know when someone

calls you the n-word mama always tells

you in one ear and right out the other

you know there are teachers there's me

there are parents you can always talk to

us that happens every day doesn't it

somebody insulted me like that I'd go

straight to the teacher the teacher

fixes everything that's my plan for

always don't forget the teacher isn't

the only one who can help you you can

help yourself by saying hey quit that

enough of that it's not cool and so on

you've got a mouth too when growing up

as a black child in Berlin the

multicultural capital bullying is part

of life at age 12 Bassam is the elder of

the two what kind of ice cream do you

want I'll take a calippo


– insomnia


what's it taste like like Cola mine

tastes great have you ever had that

feeling out on the street that someone

didn't like you they say

hi-yaa hi-yaa so they insult my language

oh I know what you mean they think we

speak another language and they say

creepy or something well they say

chicken has some nice chicken I wonder

why they say chicken everyone eats

chicken it's a racist stereotype with a

long tradition among right-wingers in

the United States former black slaves

were often fed on chicken many teachers

always used to underestimate me they

didn't realize how much I can do and

often they didn't call on me at some

point I just got so angry and sad that I

simply ran out the door and then I just

cried a little and they came out and

asked me why are you crying and I said

because you never call on me and they

said okay from now on we'll treat you


happy Afghan village enough m400 Bassam

got over the bad star to become an

outstanding pupil she's made the top of

her class three times in a row

Anna is a social worker she supervises a

group home for youngsters with mental


when I get on the subway train sometimes

I feel the looks I get and a certain

tension for example that someone holds

their bag a little closer or somebody

will scrutinize your hair or your hands

in the summer when you're wearing a

dress or something they might take a

close look at your legs and you just

never know is it admiration like wow

what beautiful hair she's got what great

makeup she's wearing or is it disgust

you never know

thank you Kasumi is a Berliner as well

in autumn she will take up her sociology

studies the killing of George Floyd in

the United States shocked her she took

part in the black lives matter

demonstration in Berlin together with

her mother and friends now it's at a

point where I'd say we've seen enough

we've heard enough this is the point

where something really has to happen

where there's a need for Germany it's

politicians and the media to realize

that there's a racism problem here and

now major steps have to be taken to do

something about it at all levels in

schools – there are petitions calling

for colonial history to be included in

the lesson plan and for the n-word to be

prohibited at last also four steps at

the political level in the Bundestag and

with the police in Germany something

really has to happen in all these areas

something it's important to drink enough

Kazumi is very close to her mother well

Ricky realized very early on that her

child was treated differently from white

children she took ballet lessons like

any girl she wanted to dance ballet in a

pink tutu and jump around and she came

out of the troy lesson totally dejected

kalsa me was always a happy child and

laughed a lot she was really lively but

she came out pretty dejected with her

shoulders drooping she was three years

old and said mama I don't want to be

brown anymore of course I was really sad

for her and I had a pretty good idea

what was going on she had realised at

that age

I'm always the only one who looks like

this and I'll never have long flowing

hair and be able to blend into the group

I'll always stick out somehow I can

remember another moment when Kasim II

said does it ever stop that's pretty

tough when an eight-year-old child sums

it all up like that and I still remember

how I sat there and said I don't know we

have to find a way somehow what do you

need what do we need what might

well is it the environment is there

something we should say do we have to

work on responding somehow what will

help you healthier moments like those

spurred alica into action she started a

play group for Afro German children so

at least once a month her daughter would

have the feeling of being one among many

today all those children are almost

grown several of them still get together

in America's total plural society

captain as a child I still believed in

an ideal world somehow I thought the

problems just this or that then when you

consciously realize the situation and

read about it and find out you're not

the only one experiencing it it's kind

of disillusioning but i and so many

people i know grow accustomed to it

relatively quickly because it's just

been so many years and i've had to

develop a strategy for how i deal with

it racism couldn't really be damaging

especially when you get these

microaggressions every day and that's

something to be taken seriously many

people want to hear about these

experiences they might think oh well

it's once a month

no it's everyday when you go out every

day it starts with the media you can see

them at home and then you go out and get

these looks and there are these

questions if you don't get a job or an

apartment you applied for it's not

always for racist reasons of course but

that's always one of the first things

you wonder was it because of my skin

color was it because I'm a woman were

there really too many applicants was my

resume not good enough what was it it's

hard to talk about and nobody would

admit it openly and honestly

Anna comes to Erika's monthly meetings

as well this time they're doing a flash

mop in the pouring rain but not even

that can dampen the enthusiasm their

slogan is clear enough it looks like fun

but they mean it very seriously they

know full well they have to fight for

their rights

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