We, the Afro-Greeks: Black literature as a bridge between cultures.

The aims and objectives

The project aims to address the lack of visibility and inclusion of Greeks of African descent, frequently referred to as “Afro-Greeks”, in the dominant public narrative of Greece, by enriching the collections of the National Library of Greece with black literature and by creating spaces for their stories to be told, heard and spread among its audience.

Key milestones

The majority of the key dates and milestones for the project delivery have been met. The project started in September 2023 with the compilation of a bibliography on black literature, in cooperation with the communities involved. The acquisition of the new items and the subsequent enrichment of the Collections of the
Lending Department (PL) of the Library was carried out progressively, with a delay of two months, due to the fact that some of the selected items were either out of stock by the publisher or had to be ordered overseas. As a result, the project launch event took place in March 2024 instead of February 2024, and the project evaluation and final reporting was completed in April 2024.


In the framework of the project a carefully compiled bibliography on black literature for adults and children has been created, reflecting the stories of contemporary writers of – mainly – the African diaspora. The collection of the Lending Department has been enriched with 130 new books, that dealt with various facets of black identity and experience, along with their relative intertwinings – displacement, slavery, racism and survival, communities, collective memory and transgenerational trauma, (in)visibility, sex and social class.

Moreover, a series of 5 podcasts has been created, where experts (anthropologists, writers, translators, literary critics, artists as well as members of the the Afrogreek community and the association Pelargos for adoptive and mixed/interracial families in Greece) invited the public to a critical dialogue around issues of identity, ethnicity and tolerance, further enhancing the potential of literature to break down cultural barriers and act as uniting bridge
between cultures.

Moreover, the NLG organised, by its own financial means, the event “Black Literature as a bridge between cultures: Literary and Musical Conversations” (15/3/2024), with the aim to further disseminate the project outcomes to the public.

Impact of the activity

The project drew upon the fact that, besides the rapid increase of African migration flows in the last years in Greece, there is also a rising number of second and third generation people of African origin as well as adopted children, that remain marginalized and underrepresented at political, social and academic level, often
becoming victims of xenophobic rhetoric and racist attacks. In response to this development, the National Library of Greece invested in activities that promote diversity and cross-cultural understanding.

The activities generated a positive impact within and outside the library: the project launch was attended by approximately 150 guests, podcasts have had so far more than 1000 views and the exhibited items of black literature at the special bookstands have aroused the vivid interest of the Library users.

The collection will continue to be enriched with purchases and donations with the valuable cooperation of the Afro-Greek community. Last but not least, the bibliography has been communicated to the Greek Library Network, so that its members can also track and enhance black literature in their own collections.

Web links

Podcast series
NLG official website | Project description
NLG Catalogue Search/Project related records
Lauch Event | Black literature as a bridge between cultures: Literary and Musical Conversations

Image Gallery

1: Display of the procured items on black literature at special bookstands in the Library’s book castle area

2: Podcast broadcasting at the “video projection nests” of the NLG

3: Project Launch Event_Literary and Musical Conversations_Book castle of the NLG

4: Project Poster: Black literature as a bridge between cultures

5: The project team