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April in Paris: Black Paris

Discover the historical Paris of African-American expatriates and the contemporary Paris of the Africans and Caribbeans who 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, 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?'"

Recorded Thursday, April 21, 2011 at Alliance Française de Chicago.


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