50 Shades of Blackness is a constructive media dedicated to the concept of social and racial coexistence in France. It seeks to bring positive and lasting change through the real application of the values of the French Republic.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité*

Le vivre-ensemble, or “living together”, is at the heart of French political discourse. But in reality, do we truly live together? Do we make the effort, or are we even willing to? Do we accept the Other as our equal, our sister, our brother? Yes… ? Are you sure?

Consider this: black people have been present in France since the Middle Ages. Yet, they still get asked: “Where are you from?”, as if the color black and French nationality weren’t compatible.

How can we live together when part of society doesn’t recognize the Other as their equal and refuses true fraternity? How to live together in a multi-cultural, multi-faith, and multi-ethnic society?

The French Paradox

The French Republic expects its black citizens to fully integrate into the white model, to the point of erasing their ethno-cultural differences, and refuses to quantify their presence in France.

The prominent French radio station France Culture recently asked: “What must be sacrificed to live together?” In her book Trop Noire Pour Être Française / Too Black To Be French, author Isabelle Boni-Claverie questions the concept of “white universalism”, with a degree of humor. Both are examples of the tools that we shall regularly make available on this platform (for the time being, on the French pages of the site, in the Le Mag section). These tools will help understand the mechanisms of racism in French society, and elsewhere.

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* “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, France’s national motto.

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