Félix Germain et Silyane Larcher (Dir.), Black French Women and the Struggle for Equality, 1848 – 2016, 2018


Black French Women and the Struggle for Equality, 1848 – 2016 explores how black women in France itself, the French Caribbean, Gorée, Dakar, Rufisque, and Saint-Louis expe­ri­enced and reacted to French colo­nialism and how gendered read­ings of colo­niza­tion, decol­o­niza­tion, and social move­ments cast new light on the history of French colo­niza­tion and of black France. In addi­tion to delin­eating the powerful contri­bu­tions of black French women in the struggle for equality, contrib­u­tors also look at the expe­ri­ences of African Amer­ican women in Paris and in so doing inte­grate into colo­nial and post­colo­nial conver­sa­tions the strate­gies black women have engaged in nego­ti­ating gender and race rela­tions à la française. Drawing on research by scholars from different disci­pli­nary back­grounds and coun­tries, this collec­tion offers a fresh, multi­di­men­sional perspec­tive on race, class, and gender rela­tions in France and its former colonies, exploring how black women have nego­ti­ated the bound­aries of patri­archy and racism from their eman­ci­pa­tion from slavery to the second decade of the twenty-first century.


Fore­word T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting Intro­duc­tion : Mari­anne Is Also Black Félix Germain and Silyane Larcher Part 1. Black Women in Poli­tics and Society 1. Orig­i­naire Women and Polit­ical Life in Senegal’s Four Communes Hilary Jones 2. Chris­tiane Taubira, a Black Woman in Poli­tics in French Guiana and in France Stéphanie Guyon 3. A Passion for Justice : The Role of Women in the Aliker Case Monique Milia-Marie-Luce Part 2. Femi­nist and Post­colo­nial Move­ments for Equality 4. French Caribbean Femi­nism in the Post­de­part­men­tal­iza­tion Era Félix Germain 5. The End of Silence : On the Revival of Afro­fem­i­nism in Contem­po­rary France Silyane Larcher 6. Gerty Archimède and the Struggle for Decolo­nial Citi­zen­ship in the French Antilles, 1946 – 51 Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel Part 3. Respectability, Resis­tance, and Transna­tional Iden­ti­ties 7. A Black Woman’s Life in the Struggle : Jean McNair in France Tyler Stovall 8. Am I My Sister’s Keeper ? The Poli­tics of Propriety and the Fight for Equality in the Works of French Antil­lean Women Writers, 1920s – 40s Jacque­line Couti 9. Between Respectability and Resis­tance : French Caribbean Women Confronted by Mascu­line Domi­na­tion during the Second Half of the Twen­tieth Century Stéphanie Mulot and Nadine Lefaucheur Part 4. The Dialec­tics between Body, Nation, and Repre­sen­ta­tion 10. Media and the Poli­tics of “Re-presen­ta­tion” of the Black Female Body Sarah Fila-Bakabadio 11. Shaking the Racial and Gender Foun­da­tions of France : The Influ­ences of “Sarah Baartman” in the Produc­tion of French­ness Robin Mitchell Part 5. Black Women Critique the “Empire” 12. Discourse on Immi­gra­tion : Fatou Diome’s Commit­ment to Human Rights in The Belly of the Atlantic Joseph Diémé 13. Remap­ping the Metrop­olis : Theo­rizing Black Women’s Subjec­tiv­i­ties in Interwar Paris Claire Oberon Garcia 14. Social Imag­i­naries in Tension ? The Women of Cameroon’s Battle for Equal Rights under French Rule at the Turn of the 1940s – 50s Rose Ndengue Contrib­u­tors Index


  • Félix Germain is an assis­tant professor of Africana studies at the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh. He is the author of Decol­o­nizing the Republic : African and Caribbean Migrants in Postwar France, 1946 – 1974. 
  • Silyane Larcher is a histor­ical and polit­ical soci­ol­o­gist working as a research scholar at the French National Center for Scien­tific Research (CNRS). She is the author of The Other Citizen : The Repub­lican Ideal and the West Indies after Slavery.