A myth-exploding history of black France

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A major work just published in France charts the rich and very diverse history of the country's black population from the late 17th century to current times. "We wanted to make this history a visible one, with all the markers of grand history", explains historian Pascal Blanchard, editor of La France noire, trois siècles de présence, (‘Black France, a presence over three centuries'). The book blows away many social myths, and fills the deafening silence of traditional teaching that ignores the place of black people in the making of the history of France. Here, Blanchard tells Joseph Confavreux how he and his team approached this ambitious project and comments for Mediapart a series of documents contained in the work.

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