CONF : Séminaire d’ouverture de la Chaire diasporas africaines « Black Bordeaux and the Search for Refuge After Revolution » — 29 septembre 2021

Cycle de sémi­naires 2021–2022 de la Chaire Diasporas Africaines 

Labo­ra­toire Les Afriques dans le Monde
Sciences Po Bordeaux et Univer­sité Bordeaux Montaigne

Le 29 septembre, de 14h à 16h

Black Bordeaux and the Search for Refuge After Revolution

Inter­ve­nant : Lorelle Semley (College of the Holy Cross)

Discu­tant : Juliette Ruaud (LAM, Sciences Po Bordeaux)


The itine­ra­ries of over 150 people of color who sought passports to leave Bordeaux, France between the 1790s and 1830 run counter to most histo­ries of the Atlantic Slave Trade and Black migra­tion. The vast majo­rity of them were free and trave­ling on their own account. Some had been born on the African conti­nent but many were retur­ning to where they had been born, enslaved, or freed in the Carib­bean or to another desti­na­tion in the archi­pe­lago. Still, the United States was the most popular colony or country declared as a desti­na­tion by name. This small wave of migra­tion differed from the thou­sands of Afri­cans and their descen­dants who had often arrived enslaved in Bordeaux earlier in the eigh­teenth century only to return to bondage in the Carib­bean. By contrast, the group of people of color featured in this article were prac­ti­cing their freedom as they set sail even as they moved closer to the beating heart of slavery when they traveled west. At the same time, the records they left in the archive provide clues about prevai­ling racial ideo­lo­gies in France while shining a light on the process of commu­nity forma­tion and affec­tive ties among people of color who often have been rendered invi­sible. Using an other­wise cold, bureau­cratic ques­tion­naire as a point of depar­ture, this article exca­vates and theo­rizes Black space-making and Black life in the after­math of Atlantic Revolutions.

Le sémi­naire aura lieu en anglais, en visioconférence.

Pour parti­ciper il est néces­saire de s’inscrire en envoyant une email à chairediasporasafricaines@​sciencespobordeaux.​fr