Cover

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Title Page

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pp. i-iii

Copyright

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p. iv

Dedication

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pp. v-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

Patrick Manning

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pp. ix-x

Félix Germain’s history of Caribbean and African workers in Paris addresses one of the most important questions in historical studies today—to what extent did common people challenge colonialism and cut back racial discrimination? As he shows, black Parisians—in their daily labors, weekend celebrations...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiii

In the late forties, Alioune Diop, a Senegalese intellectual, founded Présence Africaine, Europe’s first black-owned publishing house and academic journal. With Présence Africaine, he offered black intellectuals a much-needed forum to publish their political essays and poems. In 1956, he also organized the First Congress of Black Writers

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xxiv

From 1946 to the mid-seventies, the world’s geopolitical landscape changed drastically. Two superpowers surfaced, waging a Cold War that has left indelible marks throughout the five continents. But most importantly, dozens of countries gained their independence from European colonizers. Although these sweeping changes have been well documented...

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1. Black Internationalism and Student Activism in Paris of the Fifties

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pp. 1-20

After World War II, many black students and intellectuals from the former colonies converged on Paris. As the seeds of negritude continued to grow, Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, and Léopold Senghor became the most popular figures of the black Francophone world. New writers and intellectuals also appeared on the stage...

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2. African Migration to Paris of the Sixties

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pp. 21-40

In 1949, as Africans intensified their demands for independence, a national poll indicated that 85 percent of French high school seniors still believed colonialism was beneficial to the colonies.1 When asked about professional goals, 30 percent of students declared they wanted to work in Africa.2 In other words, after the war, dreams...

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3. French Documentaries and the Representation of African Experiences

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pp. 41-56

In the fifties, the French fell in love with television. Les rateaux (the rakes), the pseudonym used to describe the thousands of antennas conquering the roofs of their homes, symbolized the growing popularity of television during that era.1 Most of the shows stressed the importance of family, religious, and moral values...

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4. Work, Housing, Colonial Relations, and the Formation of Oppositional Identities among Working-Class African Workers

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pp. 57-74

In the sixties, the trope of the uncivilized African migrant victimized by modern French society regularly surfaced in government discourse and the press. In browsing through bookstores, one of the French favorite pastimes, it was not unusual to stumble upon journal articles and books depicting African migrants as “indigènes” incapable...

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5. Caribbean Women in Postwar France, 1946–1974

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pp. 75-92

Françoise Ega, a Martinican woman writer who lived in France during the postwar period, affirms that racism and discrimination form an integral part of French society. Ega feels that “the French government and society perceive all Poles as agricultural workers, all Algerians as unskilled construction workers, and all Antillean...

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6. Henri Salvador’s Music and Working-Class Caribbean Males in Paris of the Sixties

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pp. 93-116

Until the 1950s, Josephine Baker, the American-born entertainer who became a French citizen in 1937, was France’s most famous black star. Her rare beauty, talent, and American accent seduced the French nation, already fascinated by African American cultural production. In the words of Phyllis Rose, she embodied...

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7. French Labor Unions, Black Community and Political Activism, and Decolonization in Postcolonial Paris, 1960–1974

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pp. 117-140

When most black migrants from the lower classes arrived in Paris, they quickly became disenchanted with their quality of life. Many of them only had access to low-wage employment and often lived in insalubrious dwellings. Moreover, continuing colonial relations often characterized their...

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8. May ’68 in Black

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pp. 141-158

In May and June 1968, France underwent two months of unprecedented social unrest, during which millions of people, especially students and workers, claimed the streets and university halls to protest for labor and educational reforms. Never seen since the French Revolution, this massive movement for change has generated...

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9. Music, Le Pen, and “New” Black Activism in Contemporary France, 1974–2005

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pp. 159-176

Throughout the sixties and early seventies, ethnic identity, class, culture, and nationality created rigid barriers within the African diaspora in Paris. The lives of African and Caribbean migrants rarely intersected; they belonged to different political, cultural, and community organizations. But forty years later, the situation...

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Conclusion

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pp. 177-180

In the early eighties, BUMIDOM, the notorious state-sponsored organization that had been dubbed an agent of French colonialism, changed its name to l’Agence Nationale pour l’Insertion et la Promotion des Travailleurs d’Outre-Mer (National Agency for the Insertion and Promotion of Workers from the Overseas Departments). The change...

Notes

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pp. 181-212

Bibliography

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pp. 213-228

Index

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pp. 229-232