This week’s third monologue resulting from the December 2016 Race after the Postracial conference features Maboula Soumahoro, associate professor in the English department at the Université François-Rabelais, Tours, France. In conversation with Olivia Rutazibwa, Ms Soumahoro recounts her upbringing and her personal journey as a French woman of Ivorian decent, her experiences in school going and her academic career. In the US she studied and taught about black nationalism, arriving at key questions of academic legitimacy and objectivity. Turning her insights back on French society, she reflects on how her own sense of national identity has developed, and how anti-racist discourses and myths existing in public memory have obscured the real everyday racist bias and discrimination that persists. Click on the link for Maboula Soumahoro’s full monologue. For more on these and other topics, check out @o_rutazibwa and #maboulasoumahoro on Twitter.com.
Tag Archives | France
French officials like to project a sunny view of their country’s colonial past. Tens of thousands dead in Cameroon would tell a different story. by Thomas Deltombe Journalist, editor, and the co-author of Kamerun! and La Guerre du Cameroun. France’s agonizing over its identity has recently taken a shocking turn. Almost daily, some editorialist, politician, or writer celebrates the country’s “colonial endeavor.” In September, former president Nicolas Sarkozy resurrected one of the most hackneyed and racist clichés of the colonial period when he insisted that the “ancient Gauls” are the ancestors of all French people, whatever their origins. A few days earlier, former prime minister François Fillon described colonization as the simple “sharing of culture.” Ignoring the millions of corpses French colonialism left in its wake, he declared: “France is not guilty for having wanted to share its culture with the peoples of Africa, Asia, and North America.” This trend, unfortunately, has a precedent. In 2005, parliament adopted a law requiring history teachers to discuss the “positive aspects” of colonization. Of course, this has always been done: many French colonial atrocities have been erased, and the driving forces of imperialism are rarely, if ever, critically examined. School curricula propagate a […]