You want to troll French fascists? Tell them the truth: the most French man in the world right now is a black kid called Kylian Mbappé. I was born in the late 70s of a mother from Martinique and a father from Lorraine region in eastern continental France: I was always aware that, for good and bad, France was more than white, more than Europe, more than what most thought and took for granted. I looked to history to make sense of the very existence of my family, and the history I found was a history of exploitation, slavery, abuse ignored by most French people. Growing up in the 1980s, there were few places where French flags were acceptable: government buildings, sporting events, right-wing and fascist meetings. That was about it. For lefties like me, waving the flag was an act of political aggression. For a Frenchman of West Indian descent like me, waving the flag was also source of special ire, because I’d grown to know that no matter how French I actually was, no matter how well I knew French history, how well I spoke or wrote, how beholden to French values of liberté, égalité, fraternité, how connected to […]
Tag Archives | Racism
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.