The emergence of a Black France, 1985-2015: history, race and identity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Downloads (Pure)


The notion of a ‘France arabe’ has long had political and cultural currency – and was clearly at the heart of Le Figaro magazine's alarmist front cover back in 1985 – but that of ‘la France noire’ is still relatively new. The article explores why ‘Black France’ has become a common popular and critical term over the past decade. In addition, it examines some of the main arguments that have come to underpin discussion of ‘black’ questions in France, exploring the parameters of the ‘black debate’ and the ways it which has been intertwined with the wider ‘postcolonial debate’. Finally, the article examines some key figures such as Lilian Thuram and Christiane Taubira who might be seen to represent different facets of this emerging ‘France noire’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-252
Number of pages15
JournalNottingham French Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2015


  • republicanism
  • communitarianism
  • assimilation
  • difference
  • Lilian Thuram
  • Christiane Taubira

Cite this