253 PEACE QUEEN

Nordic Black Theatre: Meet the Masters

Before leaving Tacoma, Melannie did some research to find a few famous Black people in Norway she could meet. She lucked out when she found the Masters family. She arranged to interview the two brothers of the family at the Nordic Black Theatre located in a charming old building in the middle of Oslo.

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Christoffer Roppen Masters (left), 26, is an actor and Rap artist. His brother, Nicolas (right), 21, is studying to be an engineer.

Christoffer gained fame in Norway when he performed his first Rap song in 2014 with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and it was broadcast to all of Norway. “It was an uplifting song of inspiration that everybody could relate to,” Chris said.

Melannie asked if these two Black men are in any way fearful of the police in Norway. “Absolutely not,” was the reply from both men. “The police are here to protect us,” they both agreed.

 

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Nicolas added, “It is mind-boggling to me that not everyone in your country (U.S.) is taken care of.”

Following the interview the crew was treated to an original Rap performance by Christoffer.

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U.S. Expat reveals life as a Black person in Norway

Lisa Cooper, U.S. expatriate, arrived in Norway 30 years ago when she says she followed her partner here. She was born African American in Queens New York. Melannie sought her out online as a highly successful Black woman in Norway in an effort to asses the aspects of racial reconciliation in this nation.

She told Melannie that as one of only 3 percent of the population her life was a bit uncomfortable at first. “People would stare at me and point at me on the street.” But she said things are much better now because there are more people who look like her. Nearly 17 percent of Norwegians are immigrants.

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Lisa explained that she has been working extensively in the past few years to assist immigrants who are less fortunate than she was when she arrived. She has helped people from Somalia, Pakistan, Eritrea and other developing countries.

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Lisa said she had two sons and Melannie asked if she was as fearful for her sons here in Norway as African American mothers are in the U.S. Lisa said absolutely not. “Police in Norway don’t carry guns.”

Melannie immediately asked, “What in the world do they use to maintain the peace?”

“They use their words, ” Lisa replied.

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