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Prominent Black German Actors Making a Mark in the Movie Industry

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Afro-Germans don’t have good historical memories of their country. The persecution of blacks by the Nazis didn’t allow them to have social and economic opportunities. They were treated as second-class citizens but they’ve managed to overcome some of these barriers. 

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Today, black Germans live and work freely. One area that’s allowed them to share their experiences is the film and television industry. In this article, we’ll focus on the black German actors.

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Florence Kasumba

She’s one of the movie industry’s most prominent black German actors. She was born in Uganda but grew up in Germany. Kasumba studied acting, singing and dancing at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Her first acting role was in a Dutch film titled ‘Ik Ook Van Jou

The actress was part of the musical hit Aida and Mamma Mia. In 2016, Kasumba made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America. Since then, Florence Kasumba has appeared in several other prominent Marvel films like: 

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Boris Kodjoe

Prominent Black German Actors Making a Mark in the Movie Industry
German actor Boris Kodjoe. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Athlete, model, producer and actor are some of the titles accompanying Boris Kodjoe’s name. He got into acting through modelling and immediately landed roles. His first was on Soul Food, a showtime drama and then Brown Sugar. Other films that Kpdjoe appeared in include:

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Zazie Beetz

Zazie is a German-American actress born in Germany. She picked up acting in school and attended LaGuardia Arts High School. She struggled to land acting roles after graduation but eventually got her first in Atlanta

She was part of the comedy between 2016 and 2022. Between 2016 and 2019, Zazie starred in the Netflix series Easy. Other works she’s been involved in include:

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In 2018, Zazie was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in Atlanta.

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Carol Campbell

Campbell studied singing, acting and dancing in Germany before she relocated to the United States. During her acting career, she landed numerous roles. In 1985, Campbell made her debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and then went to Paris to further her career.

Back in Germany, Campbell worked as a television presenter and was handed guest roles on TV shows and plays such as:

Campbell was cast in the movie City of Fear by writer Harry Alan Towers. She plays a big role in the representation of black German actors. She’s a founding member and Chairperson of SFD – Schwarze Filmschaffende in Deutschland (Black Artists in German Film). 

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Araba Walton

Araba is a founding member of the Black Artist in German Films, an organization that advocates for the rights of black German actors. She’s a graduate of The Arts Educational Schools where she studied acting. Some of the movies she’s been cast in include:

Black German actors continue to challenge the stereotypes and advocate for fair representation. Do you recognize any of the above?

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