Anti-Racism Statement

 Anti-Racism Statement 

Some of you may have wondered what happened to our last statement regarding our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, which we had made with one of our lecturers, Whit Peterson. We were informed that it did not conform to §65 Abs. 4 LHG (Landeshochschulgesetz), which reads as follows: 

„(4) Die Studierendenschaft wahrt nach den verfassungsrechtlichen Grundsätzen die weltanschauliche, religiöse und parteipolitische Neutralität.“ 

We were urged to remove the statement from our website. 

In its stead we would like to open a conversation on the issue of systemic racism. Given the other duties of the student body stated within the same paragraph of said law, we think this is an urgent topic to discuss: 

„(2) Die Studierendenschaft verwaltet ihre Angelegenheiten im Rahmen der gesetzlichen Bestimmungen selbst. Sie hat unbeschadet der Zuständigkeit der Hochschule und des Studierendenwerks die folgenden Aufgaben: 

1. die Wahrnehmung der hochschulpolitischen, fachlichen und fachübergreifenden sowie der sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und kulturellen Belange der Studierenden, 


3. die Förderung der politischen Bildung und des staatsbürgerlichen Verantwortungsbewusstseins der Studierenden, 

4. die Förderung der Chancengleichheit und den Abbau von Benachteiligungen innerhalb der Studierendenschaft, 

5. die Förderung der Integration ausländischer Studierender, die einen Studienabschluss in Baden-Württemberg anstreben 


7. die Pflege der überregionalen und internationalen Studierendenbeziehungen.“ 

We feel strongly that there is no such thing as a neutral stance when it comes to racism. Silence and neutrality in this matter quietly condone racist ideology and behavior. As part of the multidisciplinary field of American Studies and English Literatures and as human beings, we believe it is our duty to speak up at a moment like this. We wholeheartedly reject racist ideology and work actively towards being better allies and anti-racists in the struggle for equality. 

As university students, education is an important topic for us, and we believe it should be the foundation of this debate. Therefore, we want to urge you to educate yourselves on the topics of racial inequality, the experiences of People of Color (PoC), and the issues they face in our society. Since we focus predominantly on Literary Studies, we think literary narratives are an excellent way of learning about other people’s lives. Down below you will find a non-exhaustive list of recommendations on classic and contemporary Black and PoC literature. 

Whenever racism is mentioned, there is a tendency within European countries to point the finger at the US, express sorrow at the state of affairs “over there” and lean back, assured in the knowledge that this is a problem far away from us, across the Atlantic. That is a fallacy; no country is exempt from racism. Germany for example has never reckoned with its colonial past and this lack of engagement with the atrocities committed during German colonialism have played no small role in the systemic racism still present today. This does not receive its due coverage in educational institutions, so we must take on the responsibility to educate ourselves and each other. To facilitate 

the change we need, we must engage in meaningful conversation, not only on issues across the pond – but also in our own country. We would like to make a start by providing some informative resources in the form of links and books. 

Sina Eißfeller and Maren Wahle, on behalf of the Fachgruppe Anglistik/Amerikanistik/Digital Humanities 

Rozena Maart’s Open Letter to the German Association of American Studies. 



Introduction to the topic 


Polizeigewalt und Rassismus in Deutschland: Oury Jalloh war kein Einzelfall 

Racial Profiling: Horst Seehofer will keine Studie – selbst die Polizei findet das „peinlich“ 

Polizeigewalt: Die falsche Staatsgewalt | ZEIT ONLINE 

Tupoka Ogette – exit Racism. rassismuskritisch denken lernen. (Audiobook available on several streaming services) 


Ibram X. Kendi – Stamped from the Beginning 

Toni Morrison – Beloved 

Jericho Brown – Bullet Points 


Reni Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race 

David Olusoga – Black and British. A Forgotten History. 

Further Reading 

Police Brutality in Germany: 

Polizeigewalt in Deutschland: Diese Menschen starben nach Einsätzen 

Bochum University research project on Police Use of Excessive Force in Germany: Zwischenbericht (German version) 

Police Use of Excessive Force in Germany (English version) 

Racial Profiling by German Police and its lack of investigation: 

Ermittlungen zur Krawallnacht in Stuttgart: Polizei betreibt Stammbaumforschung der Tatverdächtigen 

Diskriminierung: So schnell wird man zum Clan-Kriminellen 

German Colonial History: 

Mark Terkessidis über den deutschen Kolonialismus – Demokratie braucht die Erinnerung der Vielen – und den Streit! (you can also listen to this if you click in the top-left corner under the title) 

Police Brutality in the US: 

Germany (contemporary): 

Alice Hasters – Was weiße Menschen über Rassismus nicht hören wollen, aber wissen sollten (Audiobook available on several streaming services) 

May Ayim 

Noah Sow – Deutschland Schwarz Weiß: Der alltägliche Rassismus 

Fatma Aydemir, Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (Hrsg.) – Eure Heimat ist unser Albtraum 

USA (contemporary): 

Angela Davis – Freedom Is a Constant Struggle 

Ibram X. Kendi – How to be an Anti-Racist 

Jesmyn Ward – The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race 

Jane Elliot’s Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Exercise 

Claudia Rankine – Citizen: An American Lyric 

Colson Whitehead – The Underground Railroad 

Anti-Racism Resource Guide 

USA (classics): 

Fredrick Douglass – If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Justice 

James Baldwin – The Fire Next Time 

Audre Lorde – Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches 

Maya Angelou – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 

Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man 

Claude McKay – If We Must Die 

Maxine Hong Kingston – The Woman Warrior 

Sandra Cisneros – Woman Hollering Creek 

Leslie Marmon Silko – Lullaby 


Reni Eddo-Lodge’s podcast “About Race” 

Afua Hirsch – Brit(ish) 

Afua Hirsch – We Need to Talk About the British Empire 

Johnny Pitts – Afropean 

Akala – Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire 

Roger Robinson – A Portable Paradise (Live Readings: Paradise, Ghosts, The Missing) 

Caryl Phillips – The European Tribe 


J.M. Coetzee – Disgrace 

Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart 

Edward Said – Orientalism 

Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin – The Empire Writes Back 

Alexis Wright – Carpentaria 

David Malouf – Remembering Babylon 

Kate Grenville – The Secret River