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Black France / France Noire

The History and Politics

of Blackness

edited by

Trica Danielle Keaton, Tyler Stovall

and T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting

(Duke University Press, 2012)

In Black France / France Noire, scholars, activists, and novelists from France and the United States address the untenable paradox at the heart of French society. France's constitutional and legal discourses do not recognize race as a meaningful category.

Yet the lived realities of race and racism are ever-present in the nation's supposedly race-blind society. The vaunted universalist principles of the French Republic are far from realized. Any claim of color-blindness is belied by experiences of anti-black racism, which render blackness a real and consequential historical, social, and political formation. Contributors to this collection of essays demonstrate that blackness in France is less an identity than a response to and rejection of anti-black racism. Black France / France Noire is a distinctive and important contribution to the increasingly public debates on diversity, race, racialization, and multicultural intolerance in French society and beyond.


Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga, Allison Blakely, Jennifer Anne Boittin, Marcus Bruce, Fred Constant, Mamadou Diouf, Arlette Frund, Michel Giraud, Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Trica Danielle Keaton, Jake Lamar, Patrick Lozès, Alain Mabanckou, Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Tyler Stovall, Christiane Taubira, Dominic Thomas, Gary Wilder.


"Black France / France Noire is the most recent and best record of an ongoing and important international scholarly conversation on issues of color, race, ethnicity, exclusion, and belonging. With essays by both French and American scholars, the collection addresses some deeply challenging questions about how prejudice manifests itself in French life. Some of the French contributors are hesitant to employ ethnic categories, as is the case in the United States, as ways to speak of identity, justice, and injustice in French society. But most of them realize that to eliminate color prejudice in France they must talk about color. This collection is essential reading for scholars who study France, Europe, and the politics of racial discourse more broadly."

--Herman Lebovics, author of Imperialism and the Corruption of Democracies

"Black skin may be officially invisible to France's government bureaucrats, statistics-gatherers, and devotees of French republicanism, but as a lived experience, blackness in France is very real. People of color routinely endure discrimination and find it difficult to gain full acceptance as French. Race matters in France, and the more that people talk and write about it, the more salient a social and political phenomenon race and racism in 'colorblind' France becomes. Black France / France Noire makes a major contribution by directly addressing experiences of blackness and anti-blackness in France."

--Edward Berenson, author of Heroes of Empire: Five Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa

"In Black France / France Noire, leading thinkers and intellectuals raise challenging questions about how France's history of slavery and colonization, and immigration from its former colonies, are shaping the important, increasingly public discourse about blackness and racism."

--Valerie K. Orlando, author of Francophone Voices of the "New" Morocco in Film and Print: (Re)presenting a Society in Transition

"Trica Danielle Keaton, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, and Tyler Stovall have assembled the most comprehensive and urgent anthology regarding the questions of citizenship and belonging in France since Pierre Bourdieu's The Weight of the World. There's also a salutary combination of scholarly and personal narratives in this book which elevates it to the stature of a groundbreaking manifesto, the controversial nature of which will be discussed for years to come."

--Manthia Diawara, author of African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics

Politics Noir:

Dark Tales from the

Corridors of Power

edited by Gary Phillips

(Verso, April 2008)

Politics Noir is a chilling and subversive collection of new crime stories featuring greed, corruption, insatiable ambition... and murder in the very highest places.

Contributors include: Ken Bruen, Mike Davis, Robert Greer, Pete Hautman, Darrell James, Jake Lamar, Michele Matinez, Twist Phelan, John Shannon and Ken Wishnia.

About the Editor

Gary Phillips's acclaimed novels chronicle the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles through the jaundiced eyes of his African-American investigator Ivan Monk. He is a long-standing LA political activist and labor organizer.


"There is just something so delicious about witnessing the people we elect to be better than ourselves fall prey to their baser instincts, succumbing to sex, violence, and greed, that maybe we have even come to expect it... Jake Lamar’s “Madame Secretary’s Lover Man” paints Condoleezza Rice as a sultry viper drawing unsuspecting dupes into secret liaisons and certain doom. ...this collection tug[s] on the same corner of human nature that makes political scandals so impossibly fascinating, turning the metaphorically cutthroat world of politics into the seedy, literally backstabbing stage we all suspect—and maybe even deep down hope—it just might be. Compulsively and guiltily pleasurable reading."

--Ian Chipman, Booklist

Paris Noir:

Capital Crime Fiction

edited by Maxim Jakubowski

(Serpent's Tail, 2007)

Paris Noir is a collection of new stories about the dark side of Paris, with contributions by leading French, British, and American authors who have all lived there. The stories range from quietly menacing to spectacularly violent, and include contributions from some of the most famous crime writers from both sides of the Atlantic.

Contributors include: Cara Black, Jerome Charyn, Stella Duffy, Barry Gifford, Sparkle Hayter, John Harvey, Maxim Jakubowski, Jake Lamar, Dominique Manotti, Michael Moorcock, Jim Nisbet, Jean-Hughes Oppel, Scott Phillips, Romain Slocombe, Jason Starr, Dominique Sylvain, Marc Villard, and John Williams.


"...exposing the sinister side of the capital...it is recommended."


"...a truly fascinating (and eccentric) collection...The City of light has never seemed so sinister."

--Good Book Guide