Released in its 7th issue since 2008, including an Audio Book, Deutschland Schwarz Weiß has become a standard text in the discussion and education about structural racism in Germany. It is oft-quoted and used by countless universities and schools, and subject of several diploma and graduation papers. With its ever-current character, content and unique approach, Deutschland Schwarz Weiß is to this day the number one go-to-resource of Activists and the Afrodeutsche Community in understanding structural equality. An unusually steady demand is another unique feature of Deutschland Schwarz Weiß. Having already enriched and provided valuable insight for German Studies in the U.S., we believe that a translation or adaptation of this book would be a valuable and popular contribution to German Studies, African-American Studies, Black European Studies, as well as an important and interesting resource for people of the diaspora worldwide.
"Sow's book on everyday racism in Germany is original, sharp and highly informative. It shows a side of German (and European) culture not commonly known in the US. An English translation would be excellent for a generally interested audience and for undergraduate students in the Humanities and Social Sciences (including Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Racial and Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Social Psychology). The timing of a translation could hardly be better: Black European Studies, as an emergent field both in the US and in Europe, is a 'hot' topic. There is a huge need for publications in this area from Black authors located in Europe."
Dr. Philomena Essed
Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership Studies
PhD in Leadership and Change Program
Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Graduate Gender Program
Author of the books Everyday Racism: Reports from Women of Two Cultures (1990); Understanding Everyday Racism: An Interdisciplinary Theory (1991); and Diversity: Gender, Color and Culture (1996). Co-Editor of Race Critical Theories (2002) and A Companion to Gender Studies (2005).
"As a Professor of German I am very interested in this topic and would welcome an opportunity to use it in my classes (some of which are taught in English). A study of the problem of racism in German society is a timely topic given the recent insensitive linking of Barack Obama to the Uncle Tom by Berlin's Tageszeitung. Since the appearance of Farbe bekennen (1985; in English as Showing our Colors, 1991) interest in the topic of race in Germany has been growing in the United States. Many Americans are unaware of the existence of small but very visible minority in Germany which is enmeshed in an identity struggle very similar to that which African Americans have endured for generations. I believe Ms Sow's book will provide some useful insights that can help further a growing trans-Atlantic discussion on racism and how to deal with it."
Prof. Leroy Hopkins
Millersville, PA 17551
"I personally believe there would be a tremendous market for this book in the US. Every Black German of course would buy it just as we bought Hans Massaquoi's Destined to Witness. More importantly, I believe that colleges & universities would include this book in their curriculum in various major departments. I can't wait to see Noah Sow here on a book tour. The subject of Black Germans has become very popular in academic circles in recent years."
Consultant & Speaker
President and CEO of I-Pavilion Institute, Inc.
President of the Black German Cultural Society, Inc.
"Noah Sow's Germany Black And White is the long overdue history book I've been waiting to read. I've always been curious and felt that there has been an immense Black German history that exists but has been silenced or just not talked about. We don't know, but we SHOULD know. Like Henry Louis Gates, kudos to Noah Sow for exposing this knowledge that has been previously hidden, until now that is."
Black Rock Coalition
"For a nation holding the illusion that the phenomenon of "race" was purged from its social fabric after the Holocaust, Noah Sow's book puts the manifestations of "race" in contemporary Germany squarely "in their face". From the vantage point of a media practitioner Sow analyzes communication behaviors - perceptions, reactions, interactions, expressions, interpersonal verbal language, media language, etc.- in everyday German life which demonstrate the generally unconscious working of racially based attitudes. Ultimately, for the reader of Deutschland Schwarz Weiss, Sow's detailed excavation of the nooks, crannies, and crevices of racially based behaviors in everyday discourse becomes the therapy for exorcising it from the reader's unconscious.
(...) The humor, presented like prose cartoons, allows the reader to absorb "jabs" and become conscious of the formerly unconscious attitudes. The eight chapters plumb the many areas of interaction, with historic bases for many commonly held ideas. Every chapter concludes with "therapy" suggestions for purging the racially-based behaviors discussed therein.
Deutschland Schwarz Weiss: Der alltägliche Rassismus takes up an important historic place in the publication activity of black Germans. The 1986 publication of Farbe Bekennen (Engl. Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out ) was the path-breaking project that brought black Germans' self-presentation to the German (and, later, English-reading) public. That first book articulated the experiences of native-born German women, who, because of partial African parentage, have a "different" physical appearance than the general image of "German," are not acknowledged as "German," and, consequently, live lives victimized by gendered racial discrimination. (...) Other publications presenting black Germans in their own voices followed Farbe Bekennen, most in further developed forms of the personal testimony, with the purpose of eliciting understanding and compassion for the victimized black German. The present book, however, appearing a generation after Farbe Bekennen1 , is written not as a first-person testimony of "how we are treated in this society" but rather in a second-person-address accusation of "how you (dear reader) are treating us; the fact you are doing it unconsciously does not absolve you from the responsibility of correcting the behavior."
The value of this book for an American, British, or other English-reading audience is its potential for comparative studies of race relations. Germans consider racial problems to be the product of such an historically multi-cultural, multi-racial society as the U.S. and don't see themselves as having evolved into a similarly multi-cultural, multi-racial society. Thus this book makes possible an approach to race studies in contemporary Europe, from this "case study" of a society that is being forced to look at itself in the mirror to see its "different" German face."
Anne V. Adams, Ph.D.
Africana Studies & Comparative Literature
1Farbe Bekennen has been re-issued by the original publishers, Orlanda Frauenverlag, in 2008
"Germany Black and White - Everyday Racism by Noah Sow is an important book that should be shared throughout the world. In her book, Ms Sow opens up a discussion that is rarely spoken about. This ground-breaking book will be a useful resource and of interest to many who think about racism as primarily a US or South African issue."
Judith H. Katz.Ed.D.
Executive Vice President
The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group
Author of White Awareness: Handbook of Anti- Racism Training and Co-Author of The Inclusion Breakthrough: Unleashing the real promise of diversity; Be BIG: StepUp, Step Out, Be Bold
"Noah Sow explains German racist conventions and how they affect Black Germans in their everyday lives. Her tone is honest and audacious, spiced with a healthy dose of irony. Her way to address the issue is effective. Sow's book therefore presents a groundbreaking step towards racial harmony.
Despite the focus on racism in Germany, her anecdotes and appeals transcend German boundaries and are of global importance. The black experience in Germany is linked very closely to that of other Blacks within the African Diaspora of which the United States present a key location. Noah Sow's account would therefore be of great significance to the North American market.
It is the universal appeal of her message that makes her book accessible to a broad readership. The interest in Germany, its history and culture, is widespread in the United States and transcends the community of German Americans. Especially in the world of academia, the field of German Studies would benefit from "Germany - Black White". In addition, it would present a crucial account for students of the African Diaspora. While the interest in the Diaspora and Black Atlantic Studies is expanding on an unprecedented scale, the literature of this field remains sparse especially with regard to the German experience.
Sow's first hand account offers a relevant enrichment to the literature of this field. These groups - German Americans, Americans interested in German culture and history, students and scholars of various academic fields - present crucial readerships that should not be deprived of "Germany - Black white".
While the book is chiefly addressing a white audience, it should not be underestimated to what degree it would benefit a black audience. In her chapter "Same old, same old: Racist infinite loops and how to confront them", she exposes racist mores and suggests retorts. Sow's chapter on her demands for an anti-racist society links the fights for racial equality between Black Germans and Black Americans very explicitly.
In addition, this book can be regarded as a guide for interracial communitites. It offers "Tips for white friends" which could become required reading at the high school level. For white single parents, it provides invaluable advice for a healthy upbringing and education of their biracial children. Given the growing interracial community in the United States, these aspects of "Germany - Black White" present themes that are crucial for a wide readership.
"Germany - Black White" presents an invaluable account for anyone, black or white, with an interest in racial politics and a concern for racial harmony. On this note, it ultimately paves the way to a brighter, democratic future.
M.A. Student of American History
Seton Hall University
"Of importance not only to our project's bibliography, but also for future teaching and workshops at the University of Southampton and in the United States as well, would be an English translation/version of Noah Sow" "Deutschland Schwarz Weiss". There is currently a great interest among academics in the U.K. and USA concerning the situation of African descended populations and issues related to integration in German speaking countries. However, unfortunately not all students or academics in the U.K. and USA have the language proficiency to effortlessly read German. Therefore, I kindly urge your publishing house to seriously consider an English version of this publication for the near future.
In the past I have worked as an external translators for a EU publication issued by the litigation company Linklaters de Bandt in Brussels, Belgium and also translated the (German-English) literature report for the EU SIREN (2001-2003) research project. Moreover, I have also been an active participant in the Black German community for over twenty-three years in Munich, Cologne and Berlin. If you should decide to publish an English translation of Ms. Sow's publication-which I hope you wil l- I would very much be interested in collaborating with this project."
Dr. Cassandra Ellerbe-Dück
EU Project: Searching For Neighbours
School of Humanities and Modern Languages
University of Southampton