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AfriGeneas World Research Forum

Re: The Afro German Experience

Dr. Spence-Lewis
Sr Consultant Researcher
Community Health and Planning; Plant Science

Dear Dr. Spence-Lewis:

Thank you for your comments.

I just read your response to Yvette's posting of the A. Tolbert, III article on Blacks in Nazi Germany. And as you suggested, I visited your website.

Yvette, you and I and the family of Afrigeneas researchers share a collective interest in the African Diaspora. The focus of the World Forum at Afrigeneas is to research and document our "cousins" of the Diaspora throughout the world.

The pages of Afrigeneas not only presents documented research of enslaved Africans in the Americas, it also presents their triumph over this insidious system. I'm often dismayed to read that blacks and whites in other countries still view the African American experience as a one-dimensional culture with a sole legacy of slavery that continues to cripple them. This unfortunate global viewpoint paints us as ignorant, barely literate, frustrated and violent.

Your website dedicated to the memory of Marcus Garvey reminds us of his admiration of Booker T. Washington. We also remember Mr. Garvey's successful rallies in the "Back to Africa Movement" and his popularity in Harlem and throughout the country. In the late 19th and early 20th century African Americans looked to Europe as a refuge from racism. It was a tragic historical irony that Black expatriates seeking a better life faced the same discrimination with the rise of the Nazis and their conquest of Europe.

Therefore the Afrigeneas reader is interested in the history of black American expatriates and Africans in Europe.

You wrote:

"It is critically important to remember while considering this subject that the treatment of Blacks in Germany during this period is no different or less brutal than what was done in the United States or by the British in the Caribbean and Africa to Blacks."

Your comment fails to consider the mission of the Afrigeneas World Forum. Please visit the Afrigeneas Slavery Forum and read the research of its multi-cultural posters on enslaved Africans. It's also important to understand why your comment below may offend some of our readers, myself included:

"Impartial scholarship demands that we do not prejudice the contributions that any nation or peoples make to human affairs, fair or foul. Germany like any other nation or continent deserves the same impartiality."

Dr. Spence-Lewis, I'm sure that your intent was not to lecture the posters in this thread on the Afro-German Experience or on African American history. Your website reflects a deep concern for the plight and health of Africans. Please let me add that I understand that eugenics is the focus of your work. As I mentioned before, the Afrigeneas World Forum has a different mission.

I also mentioned that I visited your site. I was pleased to read about the life of Marcus Garvey. When I clicked on the "Research African Presence Globally" on your Library page, I was very concerned since it is a direct link to Afrigeneas and one of your postings. You may remember that I voiced my concern on October 13th 2005. Please respect my comments and concerns. This link continues to make it seem as if there is an association between Afrigeneas and your website.

When I clicked on your website's "helpful links" also on your Library page, I found some disturbing references to Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Henry Louis Gates and Caribbean historian, Dr. Selwyn Cudjoe as "Uncle Tom's". Its anti-Semitic rantings attacking the scholarship of these respected men resonate with the same hate of Nazi Germany.

Your organization has every right to post "helpful link", no matter how despicable. But please consider the sterling and honored reputation of Afrigeneas that you have linked without its permission to your Library page.

The link below will take you to my message of October 13, 2005.

Please, I ask you again to consider my concerns and requests.

K Wyer Lane

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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