A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir | A Reading and Book Talk with Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité, Moderated by Dr. Stephen Small (Department of African American Studies and African Diaspora Studies)

Panel Discussion | March 4 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 

Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité

Dr. Stephen Small, Department of African American Studies & African Diaspora Studies)

 Institute of European Studies, Nordic Studies Program

"A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir" is World-renowned hip-hop artist Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité’s vivid and intimate journey through his own and his family’s history—from South Carolina slavery to twenty-first-century Sweden. Born to an interracial American couple in Sweden, Jason Diakité grew up between worlds—part Swedish, American, black, white, Cherokee, Slovak, and German, riding a delicate cultural and racial divide. It was a no-man’s-land that left him in a constant search of the self. Even after his hip-hop career took off, Jason fought to unify a complex system of family roots that branched across continents, ethnicities, classes, colors, and eras to find a sense of belonging. In "A Drop of Midnight: A Memoir", Jason draws on conversations with his parents, personal experiences, long-lost letters, and pilgrimages to South Carolina and New York to paint a vivid picture of race, discrimination, family, and ambition. His ancestors’ origins as enslaved people in the antebellum South, his parents’ struggles as an interracial couple, and his own world-expanding connection to hip-hop helped him fashion a strong black identity in Sweden.
What unfolds in Jason’s remarkable voyage of discovery is a complex and unflinching look at not only his own history but also that of generations affected by the trauma of the African diaspora, then and now.

Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité is one of Sweden’s most well-known hip-hop artists. Born in Lund to American parents—an African American dad and a white mom—he has released eight solo albums and numerous singles, the majority of which have reached gold or platinum status. His accolades include eight Swedish Grammy awards and four P3 Guld (Swedish radio) awards. He has performed all over the world, from Dakar, Senegal to Svalbard, Norway from the Apollo in New York City to the Roxy in Los Angeles and at the Polar Music Prize and Nobel Peace Prize award ceremonies. His "A Drop of Midnight", which has sold more than one hundred thousand copies in Sweden, has been adapted into a stage performance premiering in March 2020 at Harlem Stage.

 

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