.

Jun 20, 2008

La Condition noire




From the New York Times:

A new black consciousness is emerging in France, lately hastened by, of all things, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States. An article in Le Monde a few days ago described how Mr. Obama is “stirring up high hopes” among blacks here. Even seeing the word “noir” (“black”) in a French newspaper was an occasion for surprise until recently.

This black consciousness is reflected not just in daily conversation, but also in a dawning culture of books and music by young French blacks like Youssoupha, a cheerful, toothy 28-year-old, who was sent here from Congo by his parents to get an education at 10, raised by an aunt who worked in a school cafeteria in a poor suburb, and told by guidance counselors that he shouldn’t be too ambitious. Instead, he earned a master’s degree from the Sorbonne.

Then, like many well-educated blacks in this country, he hit a brick wall. “I found myself working in fast-food places with people who had the equivalent of a 15-year-old’s level of education,” he recalled.


Read the complete NY Times article.



2 comments:

Ana said...

I saw the article in the NY Times.The French have always saw things differently. The folks in the former colonies and the protectorates who spoke French well and adopted French culture were considered French.I visited France twice and have noticed that some Blacks there are very French.

As a flood of immigrants rushed to France and started having children , reality set in.I don't think French society was prepared to confront the truth, that non-European French speaking people may want to conserve their identity also.

By covering the sun with one finger, they asked themselves this foolish question: How could someone who is from the former colony prefer being anything else than French?

I hope Blacks in France take advantage of the Obama candidacy,which is really a testament to the changing times, to open a dialogue and confront some of the pressing issues that hinder their progress.

Saludos,
Ana

Black Women in Europe said...

Hej Ana, I found the article very interesting. Economists are predicting hard times for the French economy and I wonder if that will strain relations in that country even further.

/center>