Myth of a colorblind France – For more than a century, Black artists, authors, musicians, and others have traveled to Paris to liberate themselves from the racism of the United States. What made these artistic innovators choose France? Why were the French fascinated by the newcomers? And to what extent was and is France truly colorblind?
Myth of a Colorblind France investigates these questions and examines the ways that racism has plagued not only Blacks fleeing the United States, but Africans and people of color in France today. The film explores the lives and careers of renowned African Americans who emigrated to Paris, including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Beauford Delaney, Augusta Savage, and Lois Mailou Jones, and includes rare home movie footage of Henry Ossawa Tanner in Paris and interviews with French scholars Michel Fabre and Francis Hofstein, as well as a sculptor and author Barbara Chase-Riboud, poet James Emanuel, historian Tyler Stovall, filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, graffiti artist Quik, hip hop producer Ben the Glorious Bastard, African drummer Karim Toure, and many more.
Myth of a Colorblind France is not yet released in France – The film is in English and French with English subtitles.
Director: Alan Govenar (France 2020).
Available in streaming through the Rafael Smith Center – Tickets here