Dr. phil. Marion Kraft was born as daughter of an African-American officer and a white German woman in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 1946. After her completion of secondary school she was an adminstrative trainee and then worked as bilingual secretary and translator until 1969. Simultaneously, she attended evening school in Mannheim, Germany and received her Senior High School Diploma (Abitur) in 1970. Afterwards she was an employee at the Council of the European Community in Brussels. From 1971 to 1976 she studied English, German and Philosophy at the Universities of Cologne and Frankfurt/M, interrupted by a position as Assistant Teacher for German at Ohio State University in 1974. She graduated from the University of Frankfurt/M in 1976 and obtained her Teacher's Degree for Higher Education in 1978. She then taught German and English at a Frankfurt/M High School and from 1979 to 1982 German as a Foreign Language at the Goethe Institut in Göttingen, Germany. As Civil Servant she held a tenured position as teacher at the Oberstufenkolleg at the University of Bielefeld, where she taught English, Literature and Women's Studies from 1982 to 2012. In the academic year 1990/1991 she was a guest professor at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany, where she gave lectures on American and African-American Literature, and from which she received her doctorate in 1994. Her dissertation The African Continuum and African American Women Wiriters was published by Peter Lang in 1995.
The Analysis and Acknowledgement of works by Black women writers is at the core of her essays as a literary critic and teacher. Reflections on Racism in Europe, on gender, race and class and issues of diversity and difference within feminist movements are further aspects in her range of publications.
Marion Kraft has given lectures and talks on racism and about the lives and works, the literature and culture of Black women at various institutions, including the universities of Hamburg, Bielefeld and Osnabrueck in Germany, and the universities of Harare, Zimbabwe, Boston, U.S.A, and Montreal, Canada. As cultural worker she emphasises in all her activities the importance of cross-cultural learning and the acceptance of difference as an enrichment of knowledge and a tool for positive action.
One of Marion Kraft's inspirations have been the works of the African American poet and activist Audre Lorde, with whom she shared years of friendship and whose selected poems she translated to German. (Audre Lorde. Die Quelle unserer Macht. Berlin. Orlanda, 1994). Marion Kraft is one of the protagonists in the film Audre Lorde - The Berlin Years 1984 - 1992 (Dagmar Schultz, 2012), for which she has developed a study guide.
Following an outline of the history of Black people in Germany, this anthology focusses on transatlantic experiences and perspectives of the Black German Post WW II generation. Historical, literary and social analyses are juxtaposed to Life Writing stories from both sides of the Atlantic, Interviews and lyrical reflections.
Available August 2015.