Moving towards impact - Black History Month Germany

It’s Black History Month in Germany this February and I have never been more excited! There are great things happening amongst the members of our community in Berlin and the Black Diaspora in Europe as well.

Also... it is BlackinTechBerlin's second year of existence. Whoop Whoop 🎉🎉🎉! What a journey it has been! With every learning there remains a reminder that what we are building as BlackinTechBerlin is not for us only but for those who will come after us.

Kave Bulambo hosting a session for members of ADAN (which is the Afro German Academic Network)
Our founder Kave hosting a session on career development to a group of ADAN members in Frankfurt.

Black History - Germany

Our work is only possible because of those who came before us and laid the ground for meaningful conversations around Race and the existence of Black people in German history.

One such woman was May Ayim, a young poet, activist, and organiser who first founded the Initiative for Black Germans in the 80s. It was her initiative that celebrated Black History month for the first time in Germany in 1990.

pictures of the Afro German Poet and activist May Ayim
OTFW, Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

For May Ayim and her fellow activists including Audre Lorde, it was important to connect the Black community in Germany to enforce a collective force of action and reduce isolation.

If the conversation on Race, Equality, Justice, and Inclusion started in the 80s, why are we still here talking and not doing?
Picture of Audre Lorde by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Fast forward to 2020

2020 was a monumental year for the Black community worldwide as we witnessed the collective and universal agreement that Black Lives Matter. That it is important to acknowledge the negative impact of structural racism and its ripple effects on the Black community.

We also witnessed the importance of collaboration in effecting change in our world. We saw how women, particularly Black women and other minorities; played a central role in shifting the forces that stand against humanity and social justice.

La Vie Des Noir.e.s Compte / Black Lives Matter painted on the streets of Montreal.
Photographer: Martin Reisch | Source: Unsplash
“As we watched America grieve, we are also watching America grow and take a stance towards becoming an anti-racist society” both in government and in different industries, and for us, it is the tech industry.

It became apparent that we needed to have our own local conversation in Germany.

In the words of Audre Lorde, American writer, feminist, and civil rights activist who spent quite some time in Berlin organising community events for empowerment with May Ayim and other Black women:

“The work we do is hard, but it can be done. What is important is that it is done with Joy.”

What a powerful message to organisers and activists. 🤯🤯🤯

So what are we going to continue doing with joy?

Last year we were able to map our members and it was clear that our community is filled with founders, professionals looking to expand their careers, and those wanting to share their professional knowledge and wisdom.

With every event, our goal was to build a thriving and sustainable community that provides value and a platform for collaboration.

As a community we will focus on mentorship within the community, we will connect professionals to jobs and finally, we will zero in on supporting Black founders intentionally.

In service of our mission, we have many interesting, exciting and surprising things planned for the year. For us it is clearer than it has ever been that our work - together - is important but also is possible! Join us on this mission and together embark on the journey of intentional impact.

Have a Glorious Black History Month

*la vie des noires compte is French for #Black Lives Matter*

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