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April in Paris: Black Paris with Kiratiana Freelon (in English)

Discover the historical Paris of African-American expatriates and the contemporary Paris of the Africans and Caribbeans who now call the city home. Kiratiana Freelon is a Harvard graduate who has traveled to more than 25 countries and has appeared on the Travel Channel. She's also an expert on Paris. In 2006, she fulfilled one of her dreams and lived in Paris for a year. She is now launching a series of destination travel guides she hopes will inspire other African Americans to travel. The first book in the series is her Travel Guide to Black Paris.

In this lecture and book signing, Kiratiana will take you on a tour of La Goutte d'Or, the heart of modern black Paris, show you how to coupé décalé, and explain how Josephine Baker took over Paris in the twenties. According to the author, "Black Paris is reading James Baldwin’s Go Tell it on the Mountain at Café de Flore, the same place Baldwin wrote it; Black Paris is eating Senegalese Thieb at Chez Aida, Paris’ longest running African Restaurant; Black Paris is arriving at the Alizé nightclub at two in the morning, dancing to Coupe Décalé and not leaving until 7AM; Black Paris is buying a dress by Sadio Bee and then wearing it back home in America where everyone asks, 'Where did you buy you dress?'"

Black Paris is just an avant-goût of our spring series looking beyond the Tour Eiffel at la Ville des Lumière,"April in Paris." This upcoming series will include: "La banlieue: Lieu du ban," a table ronde discussing the suburbs of Paris, where the outliers, not to say the outlaws, have created a hybrid culture rocking the medieval core of the city and its language; "Virtual Paris," with post-production magician Hybride Technologies (Sin City, Spy Kids), a division of next-gen gaming company giant Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin’s Creed), who will explain how they constructed their version of Paris and other European cities, pixel by pixel; "The Renewal of Catholicism in Paris," with Jean Luc Marion, one of the Académie française "immortals" and a reputed philosopher and theologian, who will speak on the post-war years--a time of turmoil, and renewal, for christianity; art historian Olivier Bernier on a Paris maybe bygone but never forgotten; and "Portrait de Paris," a series of documentaries presented in collaboration with the Forum des Images under an agreement between the Fondation Alliance Française and the City of Paris.

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