So begins the story of Ika Hugel-Marshall, daughter of an African American serviceman who left Germany for America the day after learning that had impregnated the German woman with whom he was having an affair.
When Hugel-Marshall was seven, the state intervened in her happy family life, recommending that she, like other "occupation children", be placed in an orphanage. Here, she was subjected to the daily tyrannies of her caretaker, Sister Hildegard. She struggled to come to terms with life as a German -- the only life she knew -- among people who seemed bent on disavowing her existence.
Not until she was in her late thirties did she meet other "Afro-Germans" who as children had shared fates similar to her own and who encouraged her to seek out and meet her biological father. In 1993, with the support of friends, she set out on a journey from Berlin to Chicago's South Side to discover a past -- and a family -- she had never known.
About Ika Hugel-MarshallSee more books from this Author
The author survived, became a social worker after college, and married, but the marriage broke down—her husband was ashamed of her blackness, and Ika (even with her feminist friends) felt alienated from German society.| Read Full Review of Invisible Woman: Growing Up B...
Similarly, deep friendships with African-American writers Audre Lorde and Gloria Joseph, and interactions with the burgeoning Afro-German political movement, help her understand the oppression and torment she experienced as she came of age.Oct 16 2000 | Read Full Review of Invisible Woman: Growing Up B...
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