African American Expats in Copenhagen and ParisSummer Course

DIS Summer, African American Expats in Copenhagen and Paris
Major Discipline(s)
Anthropology, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, History
Location: Copenhagen
Session 3

This course examines the experiences of African American expatriates in Copenhagen and in Paris. While many are familiar with the stories of James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright in Paris, few know about the experiences of African Americans in Copenhagen. Drawing on a rich archive that includes documentaries, novels, government records, memoirs, biographies, music, letters, interviews, paintings, and newspaper accounts, we follow in the footsteps of African Americans including Booker T. Washington and Billie Holiday among many others. The course examines unknown or forgotten, yet fascinating, educators, painters, social workers, writers, one baseball player (but a very important one), singers, diplomats, dancers, servicemen, and Black Panthers who lived, studied, performed in, and visited Copenhagen and Paris.


Lesley-Ann Brown

DIS Summer Faculty

B.A. (Writing and Literature, Eugene Lang College - The New School for Social Research, 1994). Freelance writer, author and educator.  Brown began her professional writing career writing for such publications as Vibe and the Source. Has interviewed cultural powerhouses such as Kara Walker and the late musician Coolio. Author of Decolonial Daughter: Letters from a Black Woman to her European Son (Repeater, 2018), Blackgirl on Mars (Repeater, 2023). Has also facilitated workshops at The Danish Royal Academy of Fine Art, Prescott College (US), UniArts in Finland. Keynote speaker at various international events including at The Royal Swedish Academy of Art, Cliffrose Convergence (US), Brooklyn Caribbean Lit Festival, M/other Becomings Symposium (Finland). Previously contributing writer to NBCBLK, Brown's poem "Black is a Beautiful Word: I&I" is included in the Royal Danish Library's permanent collection. Featured in The London Magazine, as well as various publications throughout the world.  She has also taught at various levels since 2014. Brown is also a TEDX speaker. With DIS since 2023.