Keyword: blacks

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.

The history of a red thread that linked blacks and Jews

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In her recently-published book Causes communes (Common causes), French social anthropologist Nicole Lapierre traces the extraordinary stories of 20th-century blacks and Jews who made the causes of other peoples their own. "Running through their stories is the red thread of the communist ideal of a society stripped of inequalities and racism, on which a great many Jews and many blacks had pinned their hopes," writes Lapierre. Antoine Perraud reviews the work and presents selected portraits of those who braved danger and opprobrium by fighting for the rights of others.