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Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen (Aber wissen sollten)

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Warum ist es eigentlich so schwer, über Rassismus zu sprechen? „Darf ich mal deine Haare anfassen?“, „Kannst du Sonnenbrand bekommen?“, „Wo kommst du her?“ Wer solche Fragen stellt, meint es meist nicht böse. Aber dennoch: Sie sind rassistisch. Warum, das wollen weiße Menschen oft nicht hören. Alice Hasters erklärt es trotzdem. Eindringlich und geduldig beschreibt sie, wie R Warum ist es eigentlich so schwer, über Rassismus zu sprechen? „Darf ich mal deine Haare anfassen?“, „Kannst du Sonnenbrand bekommen?“, „Wo kommst du her?“ Wer solche Fragen stellt, meint es meist nicht böse. Aber dennoch: Sie sind rassistisch. Warum, das wollen weiße Menschen oft nicht hören. Alice Hasters erklärt es trotzdem. Eindringlich und geduldig beschreibt sie, wie Rassismus ihren Alltag als Schwarze Frau in Deutschland prägt. Dabei wird klar: Rassismus ist nicht nur ein Problem am rechten Rand der Gesellschaft. Und sich mit dem eigenen Rassismus zu konfrontieren, ist im ersten Moment schmerzhaft, aber der einzige Weg, ihn zu überwinden.


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Warum ist es eigentlich so schwer, über Rassismus zu sprechen? „Darf ich mal deine Haare anfassen?“, „Kannst du Sonnenbrand bekommen?“, „Wo kommst du her?“ Wer solche Fragen stellt, meint es meist nicht böse. Aber dennoch: Sie sind rassistisch. Warum, das wollen weiße Menschen oft nicht hören. Alice Hasters erklärt es trotzdem. Eindringlich und geduldig beschreibt sie, wie R Warum ist es eigentlich so schwer, über Rassismus zu sprechen? „Darf ich mal deine Haare anfassen?“, „Kannst du Sonnenbrand bekommen?“, „Wo kommst du her?“ Wer solche Fragen stellt, meint es meist nicht böse. Aber dennoch: Sie sind rassistisch. Warum, das wollen weiße Menschen oft nicht hören. Alice Hasters erklärt es trotzdem. Eindringlich und geduldig beschreibt sie, wie Rassismus ihren Alltag als Schwarze Frau in Deutschland prägt. Dabei wird klar: Rassismus ist nicht nur ein Problem am rechten Rand der Gesellschaft. Und sich mit dem eigenen Rassismus zu konfrontieren, ist im ersten Moment schmerzhaft, aber der einzige Weg, ihn zu überwinden.

30 review for Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen (Aber wissen sollten)

  1. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    [Aus aktuellem Anlass an alle meine German peeps: unterstützt diese Autorin und kauft und/oder leiht dieses Buch!] This is another book focusing on Anti-Black racism in Germany. It's one of the books that in the aftermath of George Floyd's death was sold out across Germany. Initially, I was hesitant to read it since it, just like exit RACISM, addresses mainly white readers. However, I decided to give it a go in order to be able to recommend it to white Germans with a good conscience. The title of [Aus aktuellem Anlass an alle meine German peeps: unterstützt diese Autorin und kauft und/oder leiht dieses Buch!] This is another book focusing on Anti-Black racism in Germany. It's one of the books that in the aftermath of George Floyd's death was sold out across Germany. Initially, I was hesitant to read it since it, just like exit RACISM, addresses mainly white readers. However, I decided to give it a go in order to be able to recommend it to white Germans with a good conscience. The title of this book roughly translates to: "What white people don't wanna hear about racism but should know." I think it's fair to say that the idea behind this title was burrowed from Reni Eddo-Lodge. However, I'm not even sure if the title is that fitting. Alice Hasters wrote a book that is part-memoir, part-essay, part-educational text. It's a little bit all over the place and therefore superficial at times, as important topics such as racism in the porn industry or racism within interracial families are mentioned but not explored deeply enough. Nonetheless, Alice Hasters’ book is worth the read – even for BIPoC. Since it is more personal in tone and Alice gives insight into her personal experiences there were many moments in this book that I could 100% relate to. Alice and I share many similarities. We are both Black German women with one parent who is white and one who is Black. We are both heterosexual. We are both in possession of the German passport. [The privileges that come with this passport are something that I’ve only came to realise over the past two years.] In the beginning of the book, Alice feels the need to "justify" why she is writing the book in the first place. She says that some people think there is too much talk about racism. Whereas she thinks the discourse is still in its infancy. The problem is the crack in the record. We keep jumping back to the beginning. [I couldn't agree more with that!] In adding here voice to the choir (see: exit RACISM, Farbe Bekennen, Deutschland Schwarz Weiß, Plantation Memories) she hopes to bring a new perspective into the discourse – her own. That's, of course, incredibly valuable. However, if you actually look at some of the topics Alice discusses in this book and the examples she gives, they, unfortunately, oftentimes feel redundant as she rehashes topics that were discussed in the works cited above in exactly the same manner. There, her book becomes like an echo chamber. However, the reason why I still enjoyed this book [and appreciate it!] are the parts that are more memoir-like and less educational. That's where Alice truly shines. These were the moments that made me connect to her, e.g. when she talks about feeling like an impostor when addressing the racism that she experienced in her life, because white Germans feel like racism is only valid when you're beaten up, spit upon or murdered. Talking about the smaller micro-aggressions that we, as Black women, experience on the daily can sometimes feel oddly inadequate. And that's harmful. Because racism has been so long and so massively anchored in our history, our culture and our language and has shaped our view of the world so much that we cannot help but develop racist thought patterns in our world today. Racism is everywhere. It is the foundation on which we have built our society. Some Germans complain that you no longer see "Germans" on the street. By this they mean white people. Apart from the fact that that’s simply not true it’s also harmful to believe that German-ness requires whiteness. Seldom do white people feel so attacked, alone and misunderstood as when they or their actions are called racist. However, we can only change racist behavior by conscious confrontation. We have to call each other out. That's the only way in which we as a society will be able to grow. And Alice often nails it with her own observations. She said that the real, hidden question behind "Where are you from?" is "Why are you Black?" or "How Black are you?" A-FUCKING-MEN! She also says that as a mixed race person she feels like whiteness is almost like an exclusive club – it is not easy to get into. [Again, I could relate so hard to that. Because as a mixed race person myself, I am of course aware that I am "half white", that white culture is my culture as well. And I want to embrace that even if it has been made in many ways to exclude me as a Black woman. However, white Germans simply don't see me as white. Whereas Black Germans have no problem with welcoming me into their ranks.] On the to-do list for a better handling of racism is in any case to "call a spade a spade". Just like myself, Alice bemoans the fact that we can't find words for essential terms that we need to talk about racism and recognize identities. Therefore we often use the English terms. Alice says that she called herself a "Mischling" (= the English literal translation is actually "half-breed") for lack of alternatives. It was the same for me as well. Growing up "Mischling" was the only way to go. Nowadays, Alice and I both use the English word mixed, which literally has no German translation that isn't derogatory. In regards to addressing the history of racism, Alice uses the same examples as Tupoka Ogette in exit RACISM, which means she details the Herero and Nama genocide, the fact that Kant was racist, the sterilisation of the "Rhineland Bastards" (a derogatory and racist term used in Nazi Germany to describe Afro-Germans, believed fathered by French Army personnel of African descent who were stationed in the Rhineland during its occupation by France after World War I) and the fact that hundreds of bones and skulls of African, indigenous and Asian people are still stored in German natural history museums. Some things that Alice mentions (that weren't mentioned in Tupoka's book) are the origin of the word "caucasian": In 1775 Johann Friedrich Blumenbach divided people into five colors and ancestries (white, yellow, brown, red and black). White was the color for the "Caucasian race". And since Blumenbach's theory was included in official US documents, some of his terms have survived to this day, including the term "caucasian". [Perhaps it is time to actually reconsider this term.] Another history lesson that Alice gives is on Sarah Baartman, a South African Khoikhoi woman who, due to the European objectification of her "large behind", was exhibited as a freak show attraction in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus. This kind of knowledge isn't taught in German schools and I think it's very important to rectify that. The curriculum is based on a white standard. And since a collective memory is created in school, the things that are not learned (that are not part of the lessons) are not questioned. There is no critical consciousness for them. Alice also details one episode from her school days that I could unfortunately relate to: one day racism was the subject of a lesson and suddenly all eyes were on her because she was the only Black child in the class. [As if racism was only of concern to Black people, and white people had nothing to do with it.] I could relate to Alice's emotions of feeling super uncomfortable and pressured into saying something. This also ties into the problem with empirical figures and studies on racism: they reinforce prejudices [see: Stereotype Threat]. BIPoC constantly run the risk of confirming any statistics with their own behavior. While white people are seen as individuals, BIPoC are always seen as representatives of a whole group. Another moment that made me relate to Alice was her detailing her work as a waitress and receiving racist remarks from her customers. Alice says that she felt like there was no adequate way to call out their racist acts because "whoever is angry is also hurt, and I do not want to believe that these guests have the power to hurt me. To give in to anger now would feel like losing." This is a struggle that most BIPoC will be able to relate to: no matter what you do, you feel like you cannot win. At the end of the book, Alice talks about her dating life and the objectification of her Black body. She raises the question if Black women are able to develop a healthy relationship with their sexuality and their bodies when society portrays them either as hypersexualized seducers or asexual mother figures? She also talks about her family life and that, while racism was never a taboo topic in her family, it was a blindspot between her and her white father. Alice never spoke with him about racism, only with her Black mom. I wish that these chapters would've been longer and a little more substantial because these are very important and interesting discussions that we need to have. All in all, Alice's book is a much more personal look on how racism in Germany affected her life as a Black woman. It can be a bit more confusing than exit RACISM or Farbe Bekennen for instance as it doesn't aim to solely educate people. I genuinely think Alice needed to get these things off her chest. And I am glad that she did.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steelwhisper

    1.5* rounded up. One-sided. Astonishingly colourblind for such a topic. The worst of it, this book isn't helpful. I expected at least some scientific background, but this is mainly a personal opinion piece. 1.5* rounded up. One-sided. Astonishingly colourblind for such a topic. The worst of it, this book isn't helpful. I expected at least some scientific background, but this is mainly a personal opinion piece.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kueckibooks

    I really, really, REALLY important book and definitely one of the best books I have read about racism and racism in Germany so far. Alice Hasters manages to cover a wide range of different topics related to racism, expertly connecting them to both theories about racism, history of racism and her own personal experiences as a Black woman living in Germany. I definitely learned a lot from this book and hope that it finds many more readers in the future.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Better late than never 📚 • As I've already listened to this audiobook in December, I guess I can say that I'm fairly late with this review - but I NEED you folks to read this book! That's why I'm writing this better late (and short, cause #sievebrain) than never. • Alice Hasters' book is wonderful, thought-provoking and fucking important. Her style of writing is simple, yet eloquent and she uses gender-neutral language ❤ absolutely fantastic. I'm so pleased that I listened to the audiobook, cause it Better late than never 📚 • As I've already listened to this audiobook in December, I guess I can say that I'm fairly late with this review - but I NEED you folks to read this book! That's why I'm writing this better late (and short, cause #sievebrain) than never. • Alice Hasters' book is wonderful, thought-provoking and fucking important. Her style of writing is simple, yet eloquent and she uses gender-neutral language ❤ absolutely fantastic. I'm so pleased that I listened to the audiobook, cause it's read by herself and she's doing such a good job 🥰 but no matter how, go get and read/listen to this (audio)book, it's so worth it!! Alice explains everything from big racist instances to micro aggressions, and most of her descriptions will crawl under your skin. It's so fucking awful how much BIPoC have to endure, even already as kids. Also, you'll also get a lot of super interesting and important historical background information, where I can only hope that they're teaching it in school in the meanwhile (my old school definitely didn't do a good job with that 🙄). Alice speaks about her life, explains why questions like "Where are you REALLY from??" hit BIPoC metaphorical in the face and what you can do to help or generally JUST TO DO BETTER. Btw, there's even a glossary at the end of the book!! 😍 handy as fuck 😎👌🏻 it's just a super allrounder to check on your knowledge and behaviour! I've learned so much without the book getting boring or whatever 🌸 • As you might have noticed, I loved this book! This review might be super short due to how much time has passed since I listened to the audiobook, but I'm recommending it immensely to everyone, but especially to the other white people here - there's so much we all can learn! A must read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Riikka Iivanainen

    I was recommended this book by a good friend. I'm so glad I finally decided to listen to it on Spotify where it is read by the author in German. The entire book for free on Spotify! I highly recommend it for anyone who understands German. The book is easy to follow even as a non-native speaker. The book consists of personal stories, goes over history and explains concepts in an easily understandable manner. The book helped me understand what racism is and made me question my own thoughts and beh I was recommended this book by a good friend. I'm so glad I finally decided to listen to it on Spotify where it is read by the author in German. The entire book for free on Spotify! I highly recommend it for anyone who understands German. The book is easy to follow even as a non-native speaker. The book consists of personal stories, goes over history and explains concepts in an easily understandable manner. The book helped me understand what racism is and made me question my own thoughts and behaviors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Alice Hasters is a German journalist, writing about institutionalized racism in Germany, drawing from her own experiences growing up in Cologne. I don‘t think this book has been translated into English. The title would be: What white people don’t want to hear about racism (but should know) Translation of the German book blurb: “May I touch your hair?”, “Can you get sunburn?”, “Where are you from?” Those who ask such questions usually don’t mean it badly. But still: they are racist. White people oft Alice Hasters is a German journalist, writing about institutionalized racism in Germany, drawing from her own experiences growing up in Cologne. I don‘t think this book has been translated into English. The title would be: What white people don’t want to hear about racism (but should know) Translation of the German book blurb: “May I touch your hair?”, “Can you get sunburn?”, “Where are you from?” Those who ask such questions usually don’t mean it badly. But still: they are racist. White people often don’t want to hear why. Alice Hasters explains it anyway. She vividly and patiently describes how racism shapes her everyday life as a black woman in Germany. It becomes clear that racism is not just a problem on the far-right of society. And confronting your own racism is painful at first, but the only way to overcome it. I chose the audiobook, narrated by the author. I was pretty hesitant about picking it up, not wanting to be told what a horrible, privileged and racist person I am. Plus, the reviews that I looked up were allover the place and, expectedly, very controversial and critical. I liked the book. Hasters writes well, narrates well, gives good examples and presents her arguments objectively. The book doesn‘t delve deeply into the topic and is surprisingly non-critical. Quiet a short piece, a bit on the shallow side. A good starting point.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I'm by no means the first person to recommend this book but I truly feel like this is one of those books that I will revisit every few years. There were so many valuable reminders and pieces of information about the history and lived experience of racism in Germany (but also the western world in general), and Hasters balances them in a really impactful way. I'm by no means the first person to recommend this book but I truly feel like this is one of those books that I will revisit every few years. There were so many valuable reminders and pieces of information about the history and lived experience of racism in Germany (but also the western world in general), and Hasters balances them in a really impactful way.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I am really thankful for getting to this book after Tupoka Ogette's "Exit Racism". "Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen (Aber wissen sollten)" gave me an even deeper understanding of racism in all its forms and layered on a plethora of additional facts. As I am diving deeper into ally-ship and anti-racism, I feel blessed by these accounts of fearless women putting their voice out there to change the world into a better place. The way the chapters were structured (body, hair, lov I am really thankful for getting to this book after Tupoka Ogette's "Exit Racism". "Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen (Aber wissen sollten)" gave me an even deeper understanding of racism in all its forms and layered on a plethora of additional facts. As I am diving deeper into ally-ship and anti-racism, I feel blessed by these accounts of fearless women putting their voice out there to change the world into a better place. The way the chapters were structured (body, hair, love etc.) is such a simple yet powerful and smart way to show that there is absolutely no layer, not even the most personal one, that is left unaffected by racism. The way it seeps into every aspect of a Black person's life and defines how it is shaped... I was deeply moved by it. Shaken, shocked. And I only experienced it through Hasters' account. Imagine how tiring and difficult and heart-wrenching, disassociating it must be to live that reality every day. This book cemented truths with a grace and with a kindness that is difficult to put into words. Hasters' reading of her own work, her warm voice, I think, make it truly approachable for a broad public. Social and historical, socio-cultural context are given at every step of the way. Hasters unveils layer after layer in the life of a Black person in Germany (and the States). She ceaselessly weaves her own biography and family history into the reality of day to day racism. I think this honest account, the personal layer of it, transforms it to a perfect read for a younger public and especially for those who are still struggling to come to terms with their own forms of racism. The chapters concerning romantic love, education, sexuality and children struck a deep chord within me. I got to look at personal fears and recognized myself in a lot of the fights for equality as well (e.g. How will the future be if my partner (dark-skinned Malay Muslim) and I ever have children? Will I be able to protect and teach them well enough about racism and the unfairness that they'll encounter for sure at some point, will I be able to offer them all the space needed to come to terms with their identity and respective cultural heritages?!). There will be a lot of moments in this book, were you will hopefully see the intersectionality of different discriminatory aspects and then multiply the unfairness that is directed to you by 100, in order to get an understanding what it means to live as a Black or dark-skinned person in a world that has been shaped to fit Whites. While reading: You will sigh, scream, shake your head no, get angry, disappointed at the world. You will feel defeated and called out, you will feel guilty and you'll feel your white privilege like an alarm going off at the back of your head telling you that you need to get up and do something, renounce and put aside the ease that has cloaked and protected you all this time. At all steps of this emotional journey though, I felt like Alice Hasters had my back every step of the way. She is a graceful guide, steady but adamant. And she leaves you with hope and advice on how to go on with this journey. I had time to feel all those feelings. To process them. Take them in. And it will be everybody's job to use them for change. Within and around oneself, around family and around friends, and whenever racial injustice is encountered. Thank you for this pearl, thank you for telling your story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura Mata Boschini

    I lived in Germany for eleven months. I noticed many times how my friends, exchange students with whom I shared so many experiences, were discriminated because of their looks. At the time, I didn't give it much thought, but now I wish I could go back and talk about it more. While I was listening, many memories came to my mind from my time in Germany. It made me rethink my role and perspective in those situations. I can't change the past, but I know that today I would probably react differently t I lived in Germany for eleven months. I noticed many times how my friends, exchange students with whom I shared so many experiences, were discriminated because of their looks. At the time, I didn't give it much thought, but now I wish I could go back and talk about it more. While I was listening, many memories came to my mind from my time in Germany. It made me rethink my role and perspective in those situations. I can't change the past, but I know that today I would probably react differently to many of the situations I lived. Alice Hasters narrates her story in a simple but effective way. Even though this is a very complex topic, she thoroughly explains everything she has lived and felt throughout her life. She also reads slowly and clearly, which helped me understand almost perfectly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    becky

    4.5/5 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna S

    a must-read

  12. 4 out of 5

    Parul

    Essential reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna-Maria

    The feeling of reading a book about racism that is not anglo-centric! That refers to the colonialistic pursuits and genocides committed by Germany in Africa! That discusses the experience of being a POC in Germany from the POV of a mixed-raced German woman! That made me listen through an entire audiobook for the first time in my life, of my own free will!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lilifane

    A really good and important book. And although I already knew most of the things explained here, it was even more effective to read from someone who experienced them first hand in the country I'm actually living in. A really good and important book. And although I already knew most of the things explained here, it was even more effective to read from someone who experienced them first hand in the country I'm actually living in.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Miss Undómiel

    Deeply personal, informative and at times painful to read (hear) but so, so important

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wiebke (1book1review)

    This was an enjoyable and well read audiobook. The personal experience is always a good way to hear about a topic you have read about but are not able to experience yourself. Aside from that it is imformative if you have never read a book about being black in Germany.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tin Wegel

    February 2021: I read Alice Hasters' important contribution to the discussion of what it means to be Black in Germany. Hasters mostly relays her personal story in order to talk about Germany's anti-/racism stance. With that she adds her voice to a debate in Germany that took center stage after the murder of Georg Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020. Personally, I believe that Germans who present as white (a group to which I belong) all too often prefer to only look at the US and decry the systemic February 2021: I read Alice Hasters' important contribution to the discussion of what it means to be Black in Germany. Hasters mostly relays her personal story in order to talk about Germany's anti-/racism stance. With that she adds her voice to a debate in Germany that took center stage after the murder of Georg Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020. Personally, I believe that Germans who present as white (a group to which I belong) all too often prefer to only look at the US and decry the systemic racism over there, all the while claiming that Germany's racism ended on May 8, 1945 and therefore, it can't exist as a problem. Hasters gently but decidedly shakes the German reader out of that thinking - and by gently I mean that I admire her patience, because I am not sure I wouldn't be screaming at the top of my lungs. March 2021: I am now listening to the audiobook read by Alice Hasters. It is available for free on Spotify. I would also recommend listening to the June 3, 2020, episode of the Zeit podcast "Alles gesagt?" ("Alice Hasters, was sollten weiße Menschen über Rassismus wissen?"). On this podcast Hasters talks for 6 hours and 37 minutes to the two hosts, Christoph Amend and Jochen Wegner, which brings me back to my admiration for her patience. We all learned in school that there aren't any stupid questions, but considering that both hosts kept stressing that they read her book, I am not sure anymore. Patience.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debo

    When I started this audiobook my father asked how many more books on racism I planned on reading, hadn't I heard it all before and after rolling my eyes so hard that they might've popped out of my head, I am happy to report that this too taught me a great deal! Especially because of Hasters' Afro-German experience, a PoV from which I haven't read before, this was enlightening af. Her experiences and critiques of the German education system were great and I have already pushed this onto several te When I started this audiobook my father asked how many more books on racism I planned on reading, hadn't I heard it all before and after rolling my eyes so hard that they might've popped out of my head, I am happy to report that this too taught me a great deal! Especially because of Hasters' Afro-German experience, a PoV from which I haven't read before, this was enlightening af. Her experiences and critiques of the German education system were great and I have already pushed this onto several teachers (in training) around me, because this needs to be read and applied and I am grateful this book exists! I liked the structure that wove personal anecdotes, well researched history and more general conclusions together in an accessible way. German anti-racism 101 material!

  19. 5 out of 5

    maya - Mond

    Sadly very unoriginal. I’ve read a few books that cover racism in Germany and this book feels like a copy of “Exit racism“, plus the authors personal experiences. I didn’t learn anything new. It didn’t make me as uncomfortable as „Exit Racism“ did, which I was going for. I - as a white woman - am looking for books that kick me out of my happyland. This book sadly didn’t do it for me. Maybe my expectations were too high. This book is an entry into racism, however I would recommend Chimamanda Ngozi Sadly very unoriginal. I’ve read a few books that cover racism in Germany and this book feels like a copy of “Exit racism“, plus the authors personal experiences. I didn’t learn anything new. It didn’t make me as uncomfortable as „Exit Racism“ did, which I was going for. I - as a white woman - am looking for books that kick me out of my happyland. This book sadly didn’t do it for me. Maybe my expectations were too high. This book is an entry into racism, however I would recommend Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or Tupoka Ogette as a starting point, because these two are astonishing!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Eichenberg

    This is a stunning mixture of biography, history lesson and personal growth. It displays what is wrong in our society on so many levels that we don't even see it anymore. It doesn't so much guilt someone into being racist by choice but more the social structures we are stuck in. It made me think of my own behaviour, the people around me and the believes I have, a lot. I hope it goes viral! This is a stunning mixture of biography, history lesson and personal growth. It displays what is wrong in our society on so many levels that we don't even see it anymore. It doesn't so much guilt someone into being racist by choice but more the social structures we are stuck in. It made me think of my own behaviour, the people around me and the believes I have, a lot. I hope it goes viral!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Miller Sherling

    I found Hasters's book quite worthwhile, maybe because I've read a significant amount of anti-racism and commentary on racism by writers of color, but all from a USA-based perspective. This was the first I'd read of what it's like to be a European BIPoC and experience racism in the particular ways it manifests in the European context. Hasters's section on how very gaslighting it was to go to school and be given a wrong version of history was particularly affecting, and taught me quite a bit abou I found Hasters's book quite worthwhile, maybe because I've read a significant amount of anti-racism and commentary on racism by writers of color, but all from a USA-based perspective. This was the first I'd read of what it's like to be a European BIPoC and experience racism in the particular ways it manifests in the European context. Hasters's section on how very gaslighting it was to go to school and be given a wrong version of history was particularly affecting, and taught me quite a bit about European history I didn't know. Funny how no one really teaches kids about the reality and extent of colonialism. As a white girl in the south, I was given a wrong version of history, too, in ever more complex versions over the years as I got older, that also did some vague hand-waving about there having been some bad guys, but it all got fixed, see, and it's all better now! Of course, this version of events supported *my* ego and self-image, and gaslit the Black students in the classroom with me. Hasters also gives a very clear explanation of intersectionality, with clear examples. She's a really clear writer, actually, and I appreciate the degree to which she mines her past for her readers' benefit, and keeps quite clear what were her impressions of events *then* versus her understanding *now*. (I heard on Feuer und Brot that Alice Hasters had written a book, and was the first person to check it out of the library after Zürich's local system got their copy. :-)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nemo

    "Necessary" to give it a one-word review. The author takes you not only through her personal experience but through her own realizations whilst living as a person of color in Germany. It also describes what it means to be a person who has been confronted with the color of her skin or the texture of her hair in basically every situation. But it gives you vastly more than just a collection of personal grievances, but a breakdown of how these came to be and how these manifest in what is colloquially "Necessary" to give it a one-word review. The author takes you not only through her personal experience but through her own realizations whilst living as a person of color in Germany. It also describes what it means to be a person who has been confronted with the color of her skin or the texture of her hair in basically every situation. But it gives you vastly more than just a collection of personal grievances, but a breakdown of how these came to be and how these manifest in what is colloquially known as a microaggression. It, in some instances, gives you implied instructions on how to deconstruct the narrative and information you have been giving. I listened to this book as an audiobook and honestly had to stop a few times to digest the contents before presuming to listen; being confronted with a reality i am not living in, and the pain which arose from seeing myself in her shoes. It is not a book i can recommend, but i want to anyway. It is like getting a tooth removed, while it is a beautifully written, engaging, intelligent, modern book, it is painful, awareness-inducing & kind of like an inner fight. If we want to alleviate the pain of entire groups of people, we have to become active. Again i consider it one fight that is deeply necessary in a world that still persists in its unjustified of people of color.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ina

    I really liked this book. Alice Hasters tells us how racism formed her life in germany. A lot of people living in germany have at least one parent, that is not born in germany including my husband, my daughter and a lot of my friends. But still I did not really know a lot about racism, because all of them are white and you can't tell that they or their parents aren't born in germany. Of course I knew racism to be a big problem in germany before reading this book. But still I did not really know ho I really liked this book. Alice Hasters tells us how racism formed her life in germany. A lot of people living in germany have at least one parent, that is not born in germany including my husband, my daughter and a lot of my friends. But still I did not really know a lot about racism, because all of them are white and you can't tell that they or their parents aren't born in germany. Of course I knew racism to be a big problem in germany before reading this book. But still I did not really know how the everyday life of BPoCs is affected. I think you cant ever really understand how racism feel when you are white. It's propably similar to a man never really understanding how it feels to be discriminated because of beeing a woman. But this should not be an excuse, I really want to understand and this book helped me a lot with this! I did not agree with the author in every point, but that is not the point. Also the author does not give us the solution. She does not say "do this and you are not racist anymore", but that is not really her job, either. Everyone has to look at his or her own life, opinions and behaviour and try to eredicate the racism in him-/herself. I'm truelly thankful for this book,

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is a fascinating book full of personal stories and perspectives. I think this is about as it gets when it comes to helping readers see the world/ society from a different perspective. I particularly liked that it addresses well-meaning people who may still offend people of colour or make them feel uncomfortable or left out. The chapter to a new boyfriend stands out as particularly well-written in this respect. I thought this would be a 5-star book for a long time, until I got to the chapter This is a fascinating book full of personal stories and perspectives. I think this is about as it gets when it comes to helping readers see the world/ society from a different perspective. I particularly liked that it addresses well-meaning people who may still offend people of colour or make them feel uncomfortable or left out. The chapter to a new boyfriend stands out as particularly well-written in this respect. I thought this would be a 5-star book for a long time, until I got to the chapter on sports and muscles. In this chapter Alice Haster vehemently rejects scientific studies on differences in athletic performance between races. This is part of wider weakness I see in this book: She accepts differences between black and white people where it suits her narrative (such as hair) and rejects them where it doesn't (such as running performance). Anyway, all in all this is a great book and I highly recommend it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pia Bröker

    Multi-layered perspective on racism in Germany from the perspective of a daughter of a white German man and an African-American woman. Looking into racism from various angles, gives this book also a big intersectional value. She shows the reader that the world is not just good and bad, by uncovering underlying flaws in the system, historic developments, and individual counterproductive behavior. Alice writes smart and with a lot of empathy. She showed me many new perspectives and I highly recomme Multi-layered perspective on racism in Germany from the perspective of a daughter of a white German man and an African-American woman. Looking into racism from various angles, gives this book also a big intersectional value. She shows the reader that the world is not just good and bad, by uncovering underlying flaws in the system, historic developments, and individual counterproductive behavior. Alice writes smart and with a lot of empathy. She showed me many new perspectives and I highly recommend every German-speaking person to read this! Especially if you are white!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    3.5 * Some good general aspects about racism added with personal expierences. Some parts were a bit wierd. For example the studying part (why study sport if you are not interested) and the general sterotypes about different (white) people (for example: sport students no political intreste, people don't know about kongo genocid, all people with no idea after "abi" start random study (acutally a big part of the population can not study even if they want)) Some parts were more about a young female per 3.5 * Some good general aspects about racism added with personal expierences. Some parts were a bit wierd. For example the studying part (why study sport if you are not interested) and the general sterotypes about different (white) people (for example: sport students no political intreste, people don't know about kongo genocid, all people with no idea after "abi" start random study (acutally a big part of the population can not study even if they want)) Some parts were more about a young female person looking for her way live.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Choi

    4.5/5 - German audiobook version It is by no means a perfect book. I had to shake my head internally multiple times because the arguments weren't that convincing. However, I still learned a lot from this book, things I didn't know before. At the same time I could relate to many things told in the book since I grew up in Germany while my parents are from Hong Kong, two cultures/identities clashing. Our paths and circumstances are still very different, and yet kind of similar. I especially found th 4.5/5 - German audiobook version It is by no means a perfect book. I had to shake my head internally multiple times because the arguments weren't that convincing. However, I still learned a lot from this book, things I didn't know before. At the same time I could relate to many things told in the book since I grew up in Germany while my parents are from Hong Kong, two cultures/identities clashing. Our paths and circumstances are still very different, and yet kind of similar. I especially found the last quarter or so very interesting when she talked about her personal story. I was also surprised when she mentioned something about the perception of Asian men besides Black women in the dating scene. In the end, the book isn't perfect as mentioned, and I'm not sure if I should give it 5 stars. But it was thought-provoking and added a lot of value, definitely was worth the time. (Not sure if there is an English version, if not, it should)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte Krause

    Impossible to rate, how do you rate a book about this conversation we all need to have? Not the first book I am trying to read about racism, it was esp. helpful due to Alice Hasters being German, so I have a better understanding of the environment, but of course in no way in other ways. Highly recommend this to everyone, it´s important to educate ourselves and do better. Like she said in the book, advances/privilege shouldn´t even exist.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rabia

    This was my first book about racism. The author explains the issue in a way that makes it very easy to understand. On several pages I was shocked about how present racism still is - even though we might not think of ourselves as racists there is still so much work to do.. And after reading this one I am eager to learn more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    An extremely thoughtful book, well-researched. For once, not discouraging ("I can't devote my whole life to this, I'm sorry"), full of thought provoking info and a fascinating change of perspective. Almost feel like reading it over again immediately. An extremely thoughtful book, well-researched. For once, not discouraging ("I can't devote my whole life to this, I'm sorry"), full of thought provoking info and a fascinating change of perspective. Almost feel like reading it over again immediately.

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