Wanda Lynn Haymon was actually Rosemarie Larey, a native of Germany who had been adopted. Her biological father was black, possibly an African American soldier, and her mother was white and a German national.
She was born in 1956, only 11 years after the Nazis, who regarded blacks as racially inferior, sent 25,000 Afro-Germans to concentration camps, where many were subjected to medical experiments and sterilization.
Even after the war, the stigma of having a biracial child caused many mothers - including Rosemarie's - to give up their children for possible placement with African-American families.
Now, as Rosemarie Pena, she heads the Black German Cultural Society of New Jersey (), an organization whose name belies its reach: It connects Afro-Germans internationally and seeks to document their experience.