In this bold and provocative book, Partridge examines the possibilities and limits of a universalized Black politics. Young people in Germany of Turkish, Arab, and African descent use claims of Blackness to hold states and other institutions accountable for their everyday struggle. Partridge tracks how these youth invoke expressions of Black Power, acting out the medal-podium salute from the 1968 Olympics, proclaiming "I am Malcolm X," expressing mutual struggle with Muhammad Ali and Spike Lee, and standing with raised and clenched fists next to Angela Davis. Partridge also documents the demands by public-school teachers, federal-program leaders, and politicians that young immigrants account for the global persistence of antisemitism as part of the German state's commitment to antigenocidal education. He uses these stories to interrogate the relationships among European Enlightenment, Holocaust memory, and Black futures, showing how noncitizens work to reshape their everyday lives. In doing so, he demonstrates how the concept of Blackness energizes, inspires, and makes possible participation beyond national belonging for immigrants, refugees, Black people, and other People of Color.
About the speaker: Professor Damani J. Partridge (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 2003) is Professor of Anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies and a German Department affiliate at the University of Michigan. His writing examines noncitizenship, sexuality, post-Cold War ‘freedom’, Holocaust memorialization, African-American military occupation, ‘Blackness’ and embodiment, and the Obama moment in Berlin. He directs the Filming Future Cities Project inBerlin and Detroit. In 2012, he published Hypersexuality and Headscarves: Race, Sex, and Citizenship in the New Germany. UC Press will publish Blackness as a Universal Claim: Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen Futures, and Black Power in Berlin in December 2022.