Afro-Germans are German citizens of African or Afrodiasporic descent, or people who identify as both German and part of the African diaspora.
The term afrodiasporic is used to describe something that makes reference to the African diaspora. The African diaspora is the movement of African people and their descendants to different parts of the world, both voluntary or forced. The afrodiasporic community is connected primarily by their shared history as well as cultural heritage.
BIPoC (Black and Indigenous People of Color).
Black- see Black
The term indigenous or native people refers to people and their descendants, who inhabited or lived on a land prior to the arrival of colonisers.
We understand People of Color to be an international self-designation for people who experience discrimination and/or racism but not specifically anti-Black racism like Black people. Therefore, in our context of Black dance cultures, we distinguish the experiences of the two groups and the position of power they may hold.
BIPoC is the collective term of the above self-designations. However, in some cases it can be ambiguous because it is very general. Black people, Indigenous people, as well as People of Color encounter different challenges and have different experiences. This can in some cases be invalidated through the term BIPoC.
By Black people we mean Black, African, and afrodiasporic people. “Black people” is a self-designation and describes a social position affected by racism, especially anti-Black racism. It is not a real characteristic based on skin color, but rather the experience of being perceived in a certain way.
Dancehall is originally a place where the marginalised and predominantly
Black population from Kingston, Jamaica, met to party in the late 1970s. It was there that dancehall culture emerged, encompassing various elements, such as dance, slang and fashion. Especially formative is the Dancehall music, through which the culture was carried to the world. Like other black dance and music cultures, dancehall is an expression of resistance and creative criticism of social issues.
Hip Hop is a cultural movement that originated in the African-American ghettos of New York City in the 1970s and has since developed into a worldwide subculture. Because of its origins, hip hop is considered a street culture. The original integral components (the so-called four elements) of hip-hop culture are rapping (MCing), DJing, B-boying (breakdancing) and graffiti. Hip-hop stands for the empowerment of minorities and is a creative critique of social issues.
Krump is a very fast, expressive and emotional freestyle dance that emerged around 2002 in the streets of Los Angeles as an artistic resistance movement against social issues, experiences of violence and racism. Krump is mostly danced in the open street, but sometimes even in churches. It is an “interactive” dance: the audience is involved in the action and there is a strong focus on the community aspect.
Modern African Dances
The term “Modern African Dances” refers to various styles of modern African dance that are danced to the Afrobeats music genre. These include the four major dance cultures Afrobeats, Ndombolo, Afro House and Coupé Decalé. The origins of these four styles are primarily in Ghana, Nigeria, the Congo, Angola and the Ivory Coast. The Afrobeat genre originated in Nigeria in the 1960s. The sound is energetic, underpinned by a continuous drumming beat, and is often produced in an autotune-heavy electronic manner.
To this day, relations between the global North and the global South are fundamentally shaped by a shared past of colonisation. Post-colonialism critically analyses the circumstances and impacts of that past.
Racism is the process by which systems and policies, actions, and attitudes create unequal opportunities and outcomes for people due to their placement in the concept of “race.” The concept of “race” in relation to people is a now disproven theory, but historically has been used to justify institutional racism in particular. In today’s context, racism is more than just a prejudice against a group of people. Racism occurs when that prejudice, whether individual or institutional, is accompanied by the power to discriminate against, oppress, or restrict the rights of others.
Voguing is part of the ballroom community, which was founded in the African American and Latinx LGBTQIA+ community in New York. A space was created out of necessity, as despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racism and discrimination based on sexual orientation was still happening frequently. To this day, these are existing discriminations that the community has and continues to face. The early roots of ballroom culture trace back to the drag masked balls in Harlem from the 1920s.
White / Whiteness
Whiteness does not refer to a biological trait or real skin color, but rather a political and social construction embodied by a predominantly Western population of Caucasian background. Whiteness refers to the dominant and privileged position within the power relationship of racism that otherwise remains mostly unspoken and unnamed. Whiteness shapes the self-image and behaviour of White people and assigns them a privileged place in society, such as access to resources.
The term “White passing” is used to describe the very possibility of Whiteness for non-White people. This is the experience of people for whom one or both parents are non-White, provided that certain characteristics, particularly skin color, are close enough to the White norm. In a world dominated by racist structures, this is an advantage and is referred to as “white passing privilege.”
Unlike white privilege, however, it is situational and contextual and thus unstable.
Thus, a Black person or person of color with relatively light skin or with facial features that conform to the European norm may be perceived as white one moment, but racially discriminated against the next because of their foreign name, accent, heritage, or hair texture. “White-passing privilege,” is a nuance between the constant possession of white privilege that White people enjoy and the complete absence of white privilege that Black people and People of Color experience consistently.
Want to learn even more about this topic? You can find an in-depth glossary on anti-discrimination here.