Tag Archives | silencing colonialism

Fear of a Black France

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 […]

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