Conference On Black Germans' Experience At Barnard

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Building on the success of the inaugural conference, the Black German Cultural Society of New Jersey (BGCSNJ) has announced the Second Annual Convention, to be held in New York City on August 10 and 11 at Barnard College.

The conference is presented by the Africana Studies Program at Barnard College and the Goethe-Institut New York. For more information, visit

WHEN:  Friday, August 10, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 11, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. WHERE: Conference events held in:  Event Oval, The Diana Center, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway at West 117th Street, NYC.

Friday, 7 p.m. performance by Olumide Popoola and Philipp Khabo Köpsell held in:  Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building, 5 East 3rd Street at Bowery, New York City.
All conference events are free of charge but registration is required. For information on conference registration, accommodations, and a detailed schedule of events, visit the conference Web site:

The first day of the convention will feature a keynote address by Dr. Yara- Colette Lemke Muniz de Faria, author of Between Solicitude and Exclusion: Afro-German “Occupation Babies” in Postwar Germany and historian and curator at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. Following the keynote will be an evening performance by Nigerian-German author Olumide Popoola and South African-German spoken-word performer Philipp Khabo Köpsell at the Goethe-Institut New York.

The convention will highlight the everyday experiences of black Germans who will present accounts of their varied life histories on two panels: “Witnessing Our Histories–Reclaiming the Black German Experience” and “Telling Our Stories–Black German Life Writing.” Scholarly panels will focus on “Teaching the Black German Experience,” “Historical and Popular Cultures of Blacks in Germany,” and “Visualizing Black Germany.”

Convention committee members include Tina Campt, Barnard professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies and director of the Africana studies program. She is the author of Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich (2004), and Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe (2012).

The conference will also feature screenings of two films focusing on the lives of two central figures in the Black German movement. The newly released film Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years 1984-1992 tells the story of African American feminist poet Audre Lorde, whose creative writing course at the Free University of Berlin in 1984 was the catalyst that launched the Black German movement. Hope in My Heart: The May Ayim Story recounts the life of the late Black German poet and activist May Ayim Ayim.

The conference is co-sponsored by the generous funding of the Max Kade Foundation.

Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, as the world-renowned liberal arts college for women at Columbia University, Barnard remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional. For more information, visit

The Goethe-Institut New York is a branch of the Federal Republic of Germany’s global cultural institute, established to promote the study of German language and culture abroad, encourage international cultural exchange, and provide information on Germany’s culture, society, and politics. For more information, visit

BGCSNJ seeks to document and promote the activities of black Germans as reflected in past and present times, particularly, but not limited to, the areas of the creative arts and humanities.  For more information, visit

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