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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 10:15am - 10:35am
Wir Sind Hier! (We Are Here!): The Impact Of 1940s And 1950s African American Media Representation On The Visibility Of The German “Brown Babies”

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In the midst of the Allied occupation of Germany during and after World War II, the American and German governments both hid from the public a “racial problem.” This problem was the mixed race children of black GIs and white European women. These children were known as “brown babies” in the United States and as “Mischlingskinder” in Germany, a pejorative term meaning “mutt children.” The German government concluded that the solution to this “problem” was to encourage the mothers of these children to put them up for international adoption. The only news publications in the United States that addressed this adoption process were African American magazines such as Ebony, Hue, and Jet. Mainstream media in the United States at the time remained silent on the stories of Afro-German children and the possibility of transnational adoption. Through the analysis of articles from these publications, this paper serves to exemplify that from the late 1940s to the 1950s, African American newspapers addressed Afro-German adoption because they were human interest stories that depicted racial transgression. Ultimately, these publications both further encouraged transnational adoption of “brown babies” while also serving as a criticism of the racism and discrimination within both American and German culture that resulted in their experienced cultural displacement.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:15am - 10:35am
014 Whiteside Hall

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