Thesis ID: CBB301566760

Policing Black Bodies across the Atlantic: Examining German and American Anti-Black Racism (2021)


Accounts detailing the atrocities committed by the Nazi party too often overlook their persecution of the Black German community. Even less often is the course of anti-Black racism in Germany detailed from its origins in the German Empire’s colonial endeavors through the Third Reich. In this thesis, I draw widely on the work of scholars like Tina Campt, Iris Wigger, Fatima El-Tayeb, Kathleen Reich, and Clarence Lusane to add to the academic discourse regarding Blackness in Germany. I contribute to the dialogue by adding an element of my own: I seek to evaluate the parallels between America and Germany’s quests to contain Blackness, and specifically Black male sexuality. Incorporating scientific rhetoric put forth by anti-abolitionists and eugenicists, I analyze the ways in which the moral panic surrounding the presence of Black communities in Germany and America alike invoked “medical” and “anthropological” discourses of race, racial difference, miscegenation, and freedom. In putting forth scientific arguments, both the United States and Germany sought to dehumanize and “other” Black communities.

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Authors & Contributors
Burkholder, Zoe
Ehret, Ulrike
Farber, Paul Lawrence
Gambino, Matthew Joseph
Geus, Armin
Hogarth, Rana Asali
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
European History Quarterly
History of Psychiatry
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Johns Hopkins University Press
American Philosophical Society
Cambridge University Press
New York University
Cornell University Press
Princeton University Press
Science and race
Medicine and race
Black people
Boas, Franz
Darwin, Charles Robert
Du Bois, William Edward B.
Haeckel, Ernst
Morton, Samuel George
Rosenberg, Alfred
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
18th century
21st century
United States
New York City (New York, U.S.)
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
Atlantic Ocean
Washington, D. C. (U.S.)
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Columbia University
Lafargue Mental Hygiene Clinic

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