Africans in Germany. Aminata Toure made history in Germany by becoming the first black member of state government. She was sworn in as minister for Social Affairs in Germany’s northernmost state Schleswig-Holstein last week.
The Green party politician told German media that she saw her role as “special” given the numerous messages she’s received from people saying her appointment meant “a lot to them”.
This is not the first time she has achieved a political first. Back in 2019, she was elected as the state parliament’s deputy speaker, becoming the youngest Afro-German person to hold such a position in any of Germany’s 16 states.
She becomes the first Afro-German to head the state Ministry for Social Affairs, taking the opportunity to promise change by fighting for equality and against right-wing extremism. Promises she has stood by since 2017, when she was first voted into Schleswig-Holstein’s state parliament.
Aminata Toure was born 15th November 1992 in Neumünster, a medium-sized town far north in Germany, where her parents settled after fleeing Mali. Five years of her life were spent in a refugee shelter, before finally gaining German citizenship at the age of 12.
In an interview with DW, she explains using the term Afro-German to refer to herself as it defines her as a person of roots in Africa, but at home in Germany.
“I have always had both worlds in me,” she said. “At some point, I didn’t want to have to choose between countries anymore. So I use a term coined by a feminist movement of black women here in Germany: Afro-German.”
As someone who has experienced racism, but also had strong support from people who believe in the importance of her work, Toure wants to set an example for others from minority ethnic backgrounds.
As she wrote in her book, “We Can Be More: The Power of Diversity,” Germans should be proud of all who have contributed to turn the country into a democracy and those who are still fighting to strengthen the rule of law.