Audre Lorde - Empowerment and Confirmation

The Creative Use of Difference

In the summer of 1986 Marion Kraft met the African -American poet and activist in Berlin to interview her about her autobiographical novel Zami and her works in general. Audre's visions were an empowering confirmation for Marion and her work and marked the beginning of a lasting friendship. After several encounters, readings and events in Germany and in the U.S., they met for the last time in Berlin in 1992.

"Black feminism is not white feminism in Black face. It is an intricate movement, coming out of the lives, aspirations, and realities of Black women. We share some things with white women, and there are other things we do not share. We must be able to come together around those things we share." (Audre Lorde in an interview with Marion Kraft, 1986.)

International Black Women's Studies

Inspired by Audre Lorde and a mutual engagement for a feminist discourse within the Black diaspora, Marion Kraft joined the International Cross-Cultural Black Women's Studies Institute, founded by Andrée Nicola McLaughlin, and in1989 became a co-convenor of the Institute's conference in Zimbabwe. There, the idea was born to use this global network of Black women to make the voices of Black people heard in Germany.

Together with Helga Emde, in cooperation with May Ayim, Ria Cheatom, Jasmin Eding, Judy Gummich, Bärbel Kampmann, Katharina Oguntoye and many other women of ADEFRA, and with tremendous support of different sponsors in Germany, Marion Kraft organized in 1991 a three-week international seminar, which took place in Frankfurt/M, Bielefeld and Berlin. During a study tour of the Institute in 2006 in Panama, she met Black women from different parts of the world, who had participated in the German convention 17 years earlier, and who confirmed how important it had been for them to meet people of the Black diaspora in Germany and to forge global contacts.

Also in 2006, Marion Kraft and Andrèe Mclaughlin presented aspects of the 20 year history of the Instute at the Black European Studies Conference in Berlin.,

In 1988 Marion Kraft organized the first mutual creative writing workshop of Black and white women in Bielefeld, Germany. Among the participants were May Ayim, Ika Huegel-Marshall, Helga Emde, Modupe Laja and Dagmar Schultz.

Opening Ceremony of the

5th Cross-Cultural Black

Women's Studies Institute in Frankfur/M, 1991