NMS student Loy Popp  was interviewed in June during the Black Lives Matter protests in Berlin by DAZED. His image appeared widely on social media around the world. He talked about various issues, including the experience of living in Germany as a black person.


Loy is now in grade 13, and taking the Abi Q3. See the video of Loy on Youtube here.

We reached out to Loy for a comment and he had this to say: "While my brother and I were moving through the crowd of the Black Lives Matter protest a lady approached us and asked if we wanted to take part in an interview. She briefly gave us some questions to guide our discussion, but they slipped my mind as soon as she held out her microphone. However, when she said go, it was as if the frustration that has been building up within me for the past 19 years could finally be released, and the words came to me...

 A rage had been bubbling up within me, only further exacerbated by the subtle racist microaggressions that I encounter on a daily basis. Even within our school environment, hearing that I’m overreacting when I complain about someone cracking a joke like “Where are you (black student)? I can’t see you,” when the light is turned off leaves me feeling surprised and disappointed. Stereotype is a frequent occurrence; being told how I probably eat chicken to the bone and that I must love watermelon and play basketball leaves myself and other students of colour fighting to be recognized as individuals rather than the cliches prevalent in society. Hearing from other students that they understand me, because they are blond and they know what it’s like to be “teased,” only leaves me feeling more misunderstood. The constant rolling of eyes whenever racism is addressed, followed by “we’ve talked about this so many times,” has left me with the impression that despite our school being named after a man who stood up against apartheid and racism, we, the school community, have become passive in our approach to this issue. Instead it, just like Germany’s colonial past, has been swept under the rug and deemed too “sensitive.”

Racism has weaved its way into the lives of the members of our school community, and it shows itself in a very subtle manner: through ignorance and lack of awareness. Many students and teachers are very proactive in fighting against climate change, meanwhile when Ahmaud Arbery was murdered or George Floyd was killed, it was only briefly addressed. It is not my responsibility, nor the responsibility of any other student of colour, to step up and talk about it, it is the responsibility of every member of our school community."



Image copyright DAZED

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Nelson Mandela School is a diverse and inclusive international bilingual state school, teaching from grade 1 to 13. Students graduate with either the bilingual Abitur or the International Baccalaureate (IB).
NMS is among the Berlin schools which regularly achieve top average Abitur grades. 

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01.10.2020 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin