Frenchness and the African Diaspora

Frenchness and the African Diaspora

Identity and Uprising in Contemporary France
Edited by Charles Tshimanga, CH. DIDIER Gondola and PETER J. Bloom
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/30/2009
Format: Paperback 1 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22131-5
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In 2005, following the death of two youths of African origin, France erupted in a wave of violent protest. More than 10,000 automobiles were burned or stoned, hundreds of public buildings were vandalized or burned to the ground, and hundreds of people were injured. Charles Tshimanga, Didier Gondola, Peter J. Bloom, and a group of international scholars seek to understand the causes and consequences of these momentous events, while examining how the concept of Frenchness has been reshaped by the African diaspora in France and the colonial legacy.

Author Bio

Charles Tshimanga is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is author of Youth, Education, and Society in the Congo/Kinshasa, 1890–1960 (in French).

Didier Gondola is Associate Professor of African History and African American Studies at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. He is author of The History of Congo.

Peter J. Bloom is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of French Colonial Documentary: Mythologies of Humanitarianism.


“A group of international scholars seeks to understand the causes and consequences of 2005's momentous events of violent protest following the deaths of two African youths, while examining how the concept of Frenchness has been reshaped by the African diaspora in France and the colonial legacy. ”

“[This] compilation offers a wide perspective on the history and contemporary reality of French immigrant life and the prospects for future race relations in France. . . . [It] will be an important source of information on a pivotal moment in recent French history.Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring 2011”
 — Research in African Literatures

“Essential in order to accurately contextualize the complex reformulation of identities on the European landscape.”
 — Dominic Thomas, author of Black France

“An important contribution to scholarship dealing with contemporary France and post-colonial identities.”
 — Lydie Moudileno, University of Pennsylvania

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Frenchness and the African Diaspora

Part 1. Auto da fé: Understanding the 2005 Riots
1. Primitive Rebellion in the French Banlieues: On the Fall 2005 Riots / Didier Lapeyronnie
2. The Republic and Its Beast: On the Riots in the French Banlieues / Achille Mbembe
3. Figures of Multiplicity: Can France Reinvent Its Identity? / Achille Mbembe
4. Outsiders in the French Melting Pot: The Public Construction of Invisibility for Visible Minorities / Ahmed Boubeker

Part 2. Colonization, Citizenship, and Containment
5. From Imperial Inclusion to Republican Exclusion? France's Ambiguous Postwar Trajectory / Frederick Cooper
6. Colonial Syndrome: French Modern and the Deceptions of History / Florence Bernault 7. Transient Citizens: The Othering and Indigenization of Blacks and Beurs within the French République / Didier Gondola
8. The Law of February 23, 2005: The Uses Made of the Revival of France's "Colonial Grandeur" / Nicolas Bancel

Part 3. Visions and Tensions of Frenchness
9. A Conservative Revolution within Secularism: The Ideological Premises and Social Effects of the March 15, 2004, "Anti-Headscarf" Law / Pierre Tévanian
10. Zidane: Portrait of the Artist as Political Avatar / Nacira Guénif-Souilamas
11. The State of French Cultural Exceptionalism: The 2005 Uprisings and the Politics of Visibility / Peter J. Bloom
12. Let the Music Play: The African Diaspora, Popular Culture, and National Identity in Contemporary France / Charles Tshimanga

Appendix 1 A Call to Action: "We Are the Natives of the Republic!"

List of Contributors

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