May Ayim Facts
On February 27 2018, google celebrated Ghanaian-German poet, activist and author May Ayim with a doodle. Who was May Ayim?
- May Ayim (full name: Sylvia Brigitte Gertrud Opitz) was born in 1960 in Hamburg. Her father was a medicine student from Ghana and her mother was from Germany. She was raised by a foster family.
- She studied social education and wrote her thesis about the Afro-German history. According to May, the paper was rejected by a professor from Berlin who argumented that there was no racism in Germany.
- Throughout her active years, May Ayim was celebrated as the “face” of the afro German movement.
- Was one of the founding members of the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland Bund e.V. ( = Initiative black people in Germany). One of her most famous works is called Farbe bekennen – Afrodeutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte ( = Putting one’s card on the table – Afro-German women on the traces of their history). It is considered as one of the most important works about the Afro-German movement.
- According to May Ayim, she grew up with constantly feeling the pressure of always needing to prove to be a complete human being rather than a blackamoor, a mixed-kid and a child brought up in an institution.
- Since her early 20s, May Ayim suffered from mental problems. Later on, she was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She died in 1996 after commiting suicide by jumping from a high-rise buiding in Berlin.
May Ayim Poems
- They’re People Like Us
- Afro-German I
- Autumn in Germany