Thursday, January 17, 2013

360° of African Diaspora Paris

Would you believe me if I told you that every monument and site visible from the middle of place de la Concorde is associated with at least one aspect of African Diaspora history, culture, and contemporary life?

It's true!

Begin with place de la Concorde itself.  At the base of the Obelisk of Luxor, African-American Jessye Norman sang the French National Anthem for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution - dressed in a billowing rendition of the French flag!

To the north, up rue Royale, Eglise de la Madeleine was the site of Josephine Baker's funeral in 1975.

Eglise de la Madeleine
© Discover Paris!

To the east, the octagonal boat basin near the wrought iron gate of the Tuileries Garden served as inspiration for Henry O. Tanner's painting The Man who Rented Boats and for James Emanuel's poem "The Boat Basin, Years Later."

Octagonal Boat Basin at Tuileries Garden
© Discover Paris!

To the west, up the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe shelters the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. African-American fighter pilot Eugene Bullard was invited to rekindle the Flame of Remembrance at the tomb by Charles de Gaulle in 1954.

Arc de Triomphe viewed from the Champs Elysées
© Discover Paris!

To the south, across the river, Martinique's Aimé Césaire (poet, playwright, and statesman; died in 2008) and French Guiana's Christiane Taubira (currently France's Minister of Justice) both served as members of the Assemblée Nationale.

Assemblée Nationale
© Discover Paris!

At place de la Concorde, you are literally surrounded by the African Diaspora presence in Paris, past and present!

If you are planning a trip to Paris in 2013, walk with us to learn about this amazing history and the vibrant fabric that the African Diaspora continues to weave in Paris today! Until January 31, 2013, Discover Paris! is offering a $25 discount on the private, guided

Entrée to Black Paris tour

of your choice. To claim your discount, send an e-mail to info(at)discoverparis(dot)net and include 2013 ETBP Offer in the subject line. We will then work with you to schedule your tour.

See you in the City of Light!


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