Building on the success of the inaugural 2011 conference, the Second Annual Convention of the Black German Cultural Society of New Jersey (BGCSNJ) will be hosted by the Africana Studies Program at Barnard College.
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 archivist at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. The keynote will be followed by an evening performance by Nigerian-German author Olumide Popoola and South African-German spoken-word performer Philipp Kabo Köpsell, hosted by the Goethe-Institut at the Wyoming Building (72 Spring Street at Bowery).
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.”
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.
All conference events are free of charge but registration is required.