Trop noire pour être française (Too Black to be French)? Isabelle Boni-Claverie

February 18, 2016 a documentary film screening and discussion with Director Isabelle Boni-Claverie moderated by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

In this documentary film recently aired on ARTE, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and persistence of racism in France, and the impact of the French colonial past. She uses the lens of her family and personal history as the granddaughter of an African grandfather from the Ivory Coast who married a white French woman in the 1930s. Though she grew up in relatively privileged circumstances, she remembers: “I was six years old and for the first time I became aware that I was black and that the color of my skin, to which I had attached no importance, defined me in the eyes of others.” The filmmaker draws on her own history as well on anonymous interviews of ordinary people and conversations with sociologists and historians including Pap Ndiaye and Achille Mbembe, to explore questions of race, culture, identity, and belonging.

Frances Negron-Muntaner is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar, as well as the director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.

Event co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française and Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.