Black Skins, French Voices: Caribbean Ethnicity and Activism in Urban France

Overview

About 337,000 people of French Antillean Origin live in metropolitan France today. Unlike immigrants from North Africa, Turkey or sub-Saharan Africa, Antilleans are French citizens with deep roots in French history. Indeed, the Caribbean Islands they come from have been a part of France for over three centuries. Antilleans were for many years an invisible population, dispersed throughout the Paris region, with few community organizations and little political activism. Beginning in the early 1980s, however, ...

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Overview

About 337,000 people of French Antillean Origin live in metropolitan France today. Unlike immigrants from North Africa, Turkey or sub-Saharan Africa, Antilleans are French citizens with deep roots in French history. Indeed, the Caribbean Islands they come from have been a part of France for over three centuries. Antilleans were for many years an invisible population, dispersed throughout the Paris region, with few community organizations and little political activism. Beginning in the early 1980s, however, activists in the Antillean community began to recognize that their status as citizens would not protect them from the growth of racism in France. From neighborhood groups interested in promoting traditional Martinican and Guadeloupan dance and music to politically charged associations, these new cultural militants denounced French colonialism, challenged racism, and demanded political representation. Black Skins, French Voices is situated at the intersection of changing French ideas and policies regarding ethnic diversity and Antillean demands for recognition. It shows the creative and exciting struggles of Antilleans to remake French culture on their own terms.

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What People Are Saying

Susan Hyatt
Susan Hyatt, Temple University
Wonderful addition to the corpus of ethnographic work on race, contemporary Europe, urban-anthropology, ethnicity and nation-building.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813342542
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2004
  • Series: Westview Case Studies in Anthropology
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

David Beriss is assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans. He has worked as an applied anthropologist in association with the US Senate, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Coalition for the Homeless.

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Table of Contents

1 Finding Creole identities in Martinique and Paris 1
2 What is the price of Frenchness? 25
3 Betrayed Antilles, broken French promises 51
4 Boudin, rhum and zouk : performance and cultural confrontation 73
5 Can magic fix a broken culture? 89
6 In this world, but not of it 105
7 Conclusion : Creolizing France 123
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