From Afro-Europe, a documentary “Hope in my Heart“, on the late Afro-German poet, May Ayim [in German and English] in which she speaks of her life, her poetry and racism in Germany. May Ayim’s father was Ghanian at the time studying medicine and her mother German. She was initially placed in a children’s home and later adopted by a German family. In her poem “afro-german I” she gives us an insight into her childhood experience of racism within her adoptive family and German society:
you’re Afro German?
…Oh I see: African and German
An interesting mixture, hug?
You know: there are people that still think
Mulattos won’t get
as far in life
I don’t believe that.
I mean: given the same type of education…
You’re pretty lucky you grew up here.
With German parents even. Think of that!
D’you want to go back some day, hm?
What? You’ve never been in your Dad’s home
That’s so sad….Listen if you ask me:
A person’s origin, see, really leaves quite a
Take me, Im from Westphalia,
and I feel
that’s where I belong….
Oh boy! All the misery in the world!
You didn’t stay in the bush.
You wouldn’t be where you are today!
I mean you’re really an intelligent girl, you
If you work hard at your studies,
you can help your people in Africa, see: ….
There is a deeper story of May Ayim in that she suffered from depression and had multiple medical problems. After at least one previous suicide attempt she finally killed herself by jumping on August 9th, 1996.