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.