It is the first published book by Afro-Germans. It is the first written use of the term Afro-German. A compilation of texts, testimonials and other secondary sources, the collection brings to life the stories of Black German women living amid racism, sexism and other institutional constraints in Germany. The book draws on themes and motifs prevalent in Germany from the earliest colonial interactions between Germany and black "otherness," up through the lived experiences of Black German women in the s. It was groundbreaking not only for the degree to which it examined the Afro-German experience, which had been generally ignored in the larger popular discourse, but also as a forum for women to have a voice in constructing this narrative. The book also acted as a source for these Afro-German women to have a platform where their stories can be heard. The stories that were told helped the development of an Afro-German community as a common theme throughout Showing Our Colors was the idea of feeling alone and as though there was no one to relate to. The discussion of this loss of connection to others helped Afro-Germans come together and unite. The book is subdivided into three chronologically organized subsections, which navigate the historical origins of German perceptions of Africa and blackness, the Brown Babies and accompanying social problems immediately following World War II in Germany, and finally anecdotes and narratives contextualized in lingering modern racism in Germany. In order to engage the ways in which Showing Our Colors nuances our understanding of black diasporic relationships, it is worthwhile to establish how the Black Atlantic serves as a space of transnational diasporic exchange.
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Nothing new about being told off, as even liberal Berlin, to which I recently moved, is full of baffling rules. For the Germans, this is as normal as a trip to the supermarket. As in Scandinavia, saunas are revered here for their relaxing effects, circulatory benefits and power to make you sweat a pint in 10 minutes. They are also mixed-sex, and no bathing suits are allowed. A nude mixed sauna is a shocking proposition to an Anglo-American like me. It is also an intriguing one.
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Adamski, a police officer in Berlin who investigates organized crime, first started going to a nudist camp at a lake outside Berlin after he met his wife, whose family owned a cabin there. One weekend, when he had just about gotten used to stripping in front of his in-laws, he bumped into the highest-ranking colonel in his precinct — who promptly challenged him to a game of table tennis. Adamski said as he prepared to join a triathlon where the swimming and running portions of the race were naked. Germans love to get naked. They have been getting naked in public for over a hundred years, when early naturists rebelled against the grime of industrialization and then the mass slaughter of World War I. Nearly years later, entire stretches of German waterfronts are designated as nudist beaches. There is a nudist hiking trail. There are sporting events from nude yoga to nude sledding. German saunas are mixed and naked. People regularly take their clothes off on television, too.
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