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Paris as a refuge for African Americans, past and present

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11 Jun 2021, 11:00am - 12:00pm (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

There have been endless accounts of white Americans in Paris, from Thomas Jefferson through Ernest Hemingway. This class will focus on the many African Americans, and particularly African-American women, who have made Paris their home. Tracy Sharpley-Whiting will describe the artists, singers, dancers, novelists, nightclub owners and others who came to the French capital after WWI. She’ll talk about their lives in Paris, the complicated cultural lines they walked, and the community they forged with members of the African diaspora there. She’ll also discuss what Paris has meant to subsequent generations of African Americans, up to the present day.
Professor Sharpley-Whiting is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Chair of African American and Diaspora Studies, and Director of the Callie House Center. She is the author, editor or co-editor of fifteen books, and is currently researching Men I’d Like to Have Known, a biographical study of four African diasporic figures across French historical movements.

Pamela Druckerman is the author of five books including Paris By Phone, a rhyming picture book for kids.

This program, produced by Pandemonium U, is free to the public and is part of a series sponsored by the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA and the AF National Coordinator’s office of the French Cultural Services department of the French Embassy.