In her talk, Sina Nitzsche analyzes the album Platz an der Sonne (Place in the Sun) released in 2017 by the Berlin-based Afrodiasporic rap crew Black Superman Group (BSMG). BSMG consists of Dutch-Nigerian-German rapper Megaloh, Sierra Leonean-German rapper Musa, and Ghanaian-German producer Ghanaian Stallion. Focusing on the song “Geschichtsunterricht” (“History Lesson”), the talk will consider how the rap song negotiates the consequences of Germany’s colonial past by engaging in a larger hip-hop tradition of sharing knowledge. It will also show how the song draws on African American and Afrodiasporic histories, musical styles, and narratives to respond to ideas of racial equality formulated by the global Black Lives Matter movement. Nitzsche ultimately argues that Platz an der Sonne attempts to fill the collective gap of knowledge about Germany’s colonial past and postcolonial present by teaching a new rap audience poetic lessons about marginalization, self-empowerment and the re-formulation of a Black German identity.
BIO: Sina A. Nitzsche is a researcher and coordinator in the Department of Digital Teaching and Learning at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts. She is the author of Poetic Resurrection: The Bronx in American Popular Culture (2020) as well as co-editor of Hip-Hop in Europe (2013) and Popular Music and Public Diplomacy (2018). Bridging the gap between academia and community, she founded the European Hiphop Studies Network and has organized several hip-hop education projects, workshops, and events in the Ruhr Area and beyond. Her research interests include hip-hop studies, popular culture studies, urban studies, and digital culture studies.
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