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Black Academy

  • The international team of the Black Academy © Lys Y. Seng
    The international team of the Black Academy
  • The Black Academy Team planning projects © Lys Y. Seng
    The Black Academy Team planning projects
  • The Black Academy team © MeineWelt e.V.
    The Black Academy team
  • Mikwabo – Official Launch of the Black Academy © Sharonda Quainoo
    Mikwabo – Official Launch of the Black Academy

Networking, knowledge production and education – The Black Academy* has been offering a platform for global networking and making the expertise of Black people visible since February 2022.

Black people contribute significantly to the sustainable development of society. However, their perspectives and competences hardly find a place in the public sphere. To this day, the realisation of economic, social, cultural and political rights as well as cultural participation is hampered by colonial continuities in media and structures.

The Black Academy creates a framework for all who identify as Black people to change the 'Single Story'** together. In 2022, international workshops, seminars, writing contests, conferences and exchange programmes will address topics such as the decolonisation of the internet, discrimination, Afrofeminism, racism as well as colonial heritage and memory culture. The aim is to make the knowledge and expertise of people who position themselves as Black people visible worldwide and accessible to all. With a digital platform and analogue as well as digital offerings, the Black Academy contributes to completing the incomplete discourse on development actors and to showcasing the contribution of Black people to sustainable development and their commitment to building an inclusive and just world.

In doing so, it also contributes to advancing the goals of the "UN Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)" through concrete measures and projects. The Black Academy also works to combat the racism, prejudice and discrimination to which people of African origin and Black people are particularly frequently exposed. In principle, the Black Academy addresses all interested parties worldwide and, in 2022, also Mannheim's urban society in particular.

In 2020, the Black Academy was initiated by MeineWelt e.V., PLACE e.V. and PLACE for Africa. Since 2022, it has been developed further in cooperation with the Centre for international Cultural Education of the Goethe-Institut in Mannheim and the Goethe-Institut's worldwide network. This year, it is also funded by the Goethe-Institut as well as by the Department of Democracy and Strategy of the City of Mannheim within the framework of the Action Fund "Civil Society Engagement against Right-Wing Radicalism, Muslimophobia, Anti-Semitism and Antiziganism".

Creative Contest 2022: Life Before Colonialism

The Black Academy invites you to participate in the Creative Contest 2022. The focus is on the diverse spectrum of pre-colonial (hi)stories. Especially the histories of the Global South are still marginalized and perceived as the ‘’Other’’ by the dominant Eurocentric historiography and discourse. Everybody is invited to become creative by submitting material in text, audio, photo, collage or video format. 

Thus, the Creative contest becomes an opportunity to learn and share the diversity of precolonial societies, to encourage personal ancestral storytelling, to dismantle negative stereotypes and to decolonizing history and historiography through a creative approach.

What is expected by the participants?
  1. Selection of a specific topic related to precolonial history. The participants can be creative in the selection, and diging deeper into the history of ancestors before colonialism in using various sources. These sources can include people in the communities of the participants, historical spaces, folklore, academic articles, forums, books, museums, etc. Both research outside of academia and scientific research will be valued.
  2. Selection of a format of submission. Participants can write a text, film a video or record an audio in which they explain their research.
  3. Submitting of the creative work in this Google form from the 17.08.2022 to the 02.10.2022. The work will be sent to the jury of this year’s contest.
Information Sessions: More information about the Creative Contest 2022 will be provided online in the information sessions on 31.08.2022 and 13.09.2022 from 5-6pm.

The Price: The best submissions will be chosen by a jury and awarded at a ceremony on 29.10.2022 at 10am-12pm (GMT+1). The price will be a certificate, prize money, a book and an audio book of their liking. Furthermore, the submissions will be published on the Black Academy website, and the winners are invited to present their work during our future events. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Further information: Creative Contest 2022: Life Before Colonialism or info@black-academy.org.

* The term "Black" is deliberately chosen here as a self-definition and is considered a symbol for an emancipatory practice of resistance. The capital "B" is used to indicate a socio-political positioning.

**The concept of the "single story" was addressed by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her TED talk "The danger of a single story". She talks about the problems with unbalanced information and the importance of a diverse presentation. A single story is a one-sided or stereotypical story about a place and its people. It creates a very limited picture. Adichie says: "If you show a people over and over again as just one thing, they become what they are [...] and that robs people of their dignity".