The Initiative Scharze Menschen in Deutschland (Initiative of Black people in Germany) which was formed in 1985 as the Initiative Schwarze Deutsche, has become the oldest self-organisation by and for Black people in Germany.
The formation of the ISD led to the book “Farbe bekennen”, which as the first publication by Black people laid a foundation stone for the young Black movement.
If we speak today of the young Black movement, this is because before the initiatives which exist today there have been socially relevant activities by Black people in Germany for a long time already. So, for example, in the 1920s Black workers, trade unionists, artists and colonial migrants join together to fight for their rights and life plans.
The contributions in “Farbe bekommen” laid the foundation stone for the political work of the ISD and shape it in part until today. For example, the book contributions from May Ayim and Katharina Oguntoye discuss German colonial history from the perspective of Black people for the first time, and present their effectiveness on a global and local level.
The ISD represents the interests of Black people in society and politics and wants to make a legislative impact. The subjects everyday racism, racist violence and police violence are a central focus of the work. Black resistance for is is primarily a fight for the recognition of this perspective.
The aim is the advancement of the political participation of Black people and the improvement of their living conditions in German. We demand an anti-racist stance in all areas of politics (education, residence, citizenship, asylum laws) and that the reality of different and interlocking forms of discrimination are recognised. In the awareness that collective political work is essential, the ISD organises networking of Black and migrant communities. This is how we connect the fights in the 20th Century which colonial migrants and anti-fascists fought against exploitation, discrimination and persecution. In this sense, the ISD shows solidarity with displayed people, in order to make it clear hear that flight and migration are an immediate consequence of European colonialism.
The ISD recognises and points out the different experiences and background of Black people, at the same time as making clear the possibilities of acting in solidarity and collaboratively. The initiative offers individual and collective experiences as a resource to use for political reflection and social engagement. We organise meetings like the yearly national and regular networking meetings and organise events like Black History Month, the Homestory Deutschland exhibition or the European networking meeting for People of African Descent & Black Europeans.
The ISD does not understand itself as the only representative of Black people in German, much more as part of the Black community with all its NGOs, initiatives, organisations and projects.