Black German activist and intellectual May Ayim (1960-96) produced a wide-ranging corpus of writing—poetry, prose, political tracts—that enabled her to theorize, share her experiences, and circulate knowledge. In this talk, Tiffany Florvil explores how Ayim’s literary and political work engaged in what the critic Christina Sharpe has called “wake work,” a moral and political resistance against the imposed paradoxes of her Black identity, citizenship, and civil rights. Read as such, Ayim’s writing sheds light on Black life in the shadows of anti-Blackness in Germany during the second half of the twentieth century. Introduction by Patrice Poutrus and Sharon Dodua Otoo.
16 May 23