Publication details

"From Disagreement to Dissension. African Perspectives on Germany", in: Wulf D. Hund/Christian Koller/Moshe Zimmermann (Hg.), Racisms made in Germany (Yearbook Racism Analysis 2), S. 145-164.

Book chapter

Author(s): Michels, Stefanie; Hamann, Ulrike
Year of publication: 2011

Abstract: German discourses of racism were often contested by those very people who were its targets. This was especially the case during the period of German colonialism. The aim of this article is to theorize the strategies employed by Africans to challenge racist discourses. the authors have identified five strategies in countering German racism from texts authored by Africans from Duala (Cameroon) between 1890 and 1913: 1) the destruction of the Eurocentric notion of sovereignty; 2) the dismissal of racist images like savagery, by re-defining the image of blackness; 3) the deconstruction of the discourse and practices of 'racial-hygiene' in realtion to (official) plans for a segregated town in Cameroon; 4) the continuous demand for equality by opposing the colonial order and clinging to established political practices along the West African coast, i.e. by exchanging the culturalist discourse of the 'civilizing mission' for political desires; 5) a redefinition of modernity as a means to access political and economic gains by refusing to follow Germany's path into modernity as a nation state and rather envisaging independent communities. This article theorizes these strategies by employing the theory of mésentente, whose meaning ranges from disagreement to open dissension to racist discourses and practices

Keywords: Deutschland, Kamerun, Rassismus, Duala

Subject(s): political science, history

Further information: http://www.lit-verlag.ch/isbn/3-643-90125-5

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