Black Nationalism in the USA and France
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013
This essay examines the relationship between Black Nationalism and demo-graphic change in the Black population of the USA and France. It shows that, unlike previous generations, most Blacks in France are born in France and share commonsociopolitical and cultural reference points. As a result, this Black French populationdeploys new Black Nationalist expressions advocating that Blackness is an integral part of the French nation and that Black citizens are entitled to the same opportunities asWhites. Subversively, people of African descent are inserting Blackness into a suppos-edly color-blind nation. In contrast to France, the African Diaspora in the USA isincreasingly diverse. But due to the misrepresentation of African-American identitiesand cultural differences, manyBlack migrantsseek todistance themselves from AfricanAmericans, a relationship that ironically mirrors intra-Black relations in France of the1960s and 1970s. Like France, however, demographic change within the Black popu-lation in the USA has also reconfigured the parameters of Black Nationalism. I contendthat Black Nationalism in the USA is increasingly transnational in character. Indeed, inthe post-civil rights era, the Caribbean and African migration has expanded the scope of Black Nationalism from primarily focusing on empowering Black America to offeringCaribbeanandAfricancountriesabetterplaceintheglobalvillage.Intheprocess,astheactivities of the numerous African chambers of commerce reveal, not only do these
transnational Black Nationalist expressions flirt with neoliberal policies but theyalso adopt a color-blind perspective.
France.Blackimmigrants.Africanchambersof commerce.BlackFrench.RepresentativeCouncilofBlackAssociations(CRAN). NeoliberalismOppression and roadblocks to achieving real equality of opportunity has engendered anationalism that is distinctively African American, a nationalism which since the earlynineteenth century has promotedself-determination inpolitics, economics,religion, andeducation within or outside American society (Stuckey1972). From its inception, thiscomplex sociopolitical phenomenon, which scholars refer to as Black Nationalism, has
J Afr Am St DOI 10.1007/s12111-013-9269-yF. Germain (
)Africana Studies Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University CityBoulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001, USAe-mail: email@example.com