October 2015
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The Lives of Black Folks

You might have noticed a decrease in posts over the past few months. That’s because this summer I spent several weeks working on a series of radio documentaries about the history and experiences of people in color in Germany and Poland thanks to a Holbrooke Fellowship from the International Center for Journalists.

Today the first of these three documentaries airs of KSFR Santa Fe on Here and There, hosted by Dave Marash at 5:05 p.m. Mountain Time/7:05 p.m. Eastern Time and you’ll be able to listen to the podcast of each show here. Following each of the documentaries Dave and I talk about what I found and expand upon the profound stories that each of my interview subjects shared. In total I interviewed over three dozen people for these reports and while many people’s stories didn’t make it to air I know I learned from everyone I spoke to and I thank them deeply.

Thomas Hurst for example spoke about the mental health impact of growing up biracial in Germany had on him.

Afro-German Thomas Hurst stands in front of a section of the old Berlin Wall.

“I believe there is some post traumatic stress syndrome as a part of growing up in Germany. You never know if you can go through the day without any racism. I really believe I do have some mental problems a part of racism.”

Fashion designer Tanja Herring at a show.

Fashion designer Tanja Herring spoke about a multi-generational struggle for acceptance.

“I would say I’m nation-less. The Blacks don’t really accept you because you’re too light and the white people say ‘no you’re too dark for us’…. You always feel kind of lonely.”

These are just a few of the stories you’ll hear today. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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