May Ayim Award
  • In 1979, Arthur McDuffie, a Black man, was riding his motorcycle in Miami when police chased him, knocked him off his bike, and beat him to death, crushing his head with billyclubs and flashlights. During the trial that followed, all the police were found not guilty.
  • The Black community launched a massive rebellion that rocked Miami and sent shock waves throughout the country. Hakim Al-Jamil aka Harold Lee Rush, wrote this poem in 1980 about the incident.
    Who Killed McDuffie?


Hakim Al-Jamil aka Harold Lee Rush
May Ayim Award - The WinnersLyrik Third Prize  -  Hakim Al-Jamil aka Harold Lee Rush: Who killed McDuffie? A definitive question
The Award is a cooperation of cyberNomads, the Machtdernacht-Team and House of the Cultures of the World. The award ceremony marked the opening event for the Black Media Congress Berlin 2004.
Born May 3, 1960 in Hamburg, May Ayim whom the award is named after, died August 9, 1996 in Berlin. But her real name actually was May Opitz, a German. Daughter of a Ghanaian and a German she grew up in the home and care of family in North Rhine-Westphalia, and studied in Regensburg Paedagogik.
In 1985 May Ayim among others founded the Initiative Schwarze Deutsche und Schwarze in Deutschland (Organization of Black Germans and Blacks in Germany). After her dissertation was translated into English she received numerous invitations to give lectures and to take part in readings. In 1986 her dissertation was published in the Book Farbe bekennen (Showing our Colours) by the Orlanda publishing company. The book discussed about what is meant to be a black German in Germany.
Today, Mays book has become a standard work of the Black German Diaspora. May Ayim worked as a student adviser as well as a speech therapist and had several university teaching positions. Her poetry book {Blues in Schwarz Wei} was published in 1995. The award which has the backing of UNESCO is to remember and honour May Ayims great contributions, to build a self-determined black community in Germany. According to the organisers, the award aims at serving as a focal point for Afro-German and Black Literature in the international Diaspora.
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