Thursday, October 22, 2015

Physical Traces of African-American Presence in Paris

The first segment of the Discover Paris! presentation called "Black Paris and the Myth of a Colorblind France" discusses the "physical traces" of the African-American presence in Paris. These consist primarily of street signs and plaques around the city.

Perhaps the best known is the plaque that honors Richard Wright at his 6th arrondissement residence on rue Monsieur le Prince.

Richard Wright plaque
© Discover Paris!

Others that are well known include place Josephine Baker in the 14th arrondissement

Place Josephine Baker
© Discover Paris!

and the Josephine Baker pool in the 13th arrondissement.

Josephine Baker pool
© Discover Paris!

A more recent addition is the restaurant Coretta, named after Coretta Scott King and located next door to the Clichy-Batignolles Martin Luther King, Jr. park in the 17th arrondissement.

Coretta Restaurant
© Discover Paris!

The most recent additions consist of two plaques that commemorate artist Beauford Delaney. Both are located in the 14th arrondissement in Montparnasse - Beauford's "old stomping ground."

The first of these plaques was installed at Hôtel Le M on rue de la Gaïté in June 2015. The hotel now occupies the address of the former restaurant Les Mille Colonnes, where Beauford often took meals with friends.

Beauford Delaney plaque at Hôtel Le M
© Discover Paris!

The second was installed at Hôtel Odessa, the hotel where Beauford took lodging on his second day in Paris.

Beauford Delaney plaque at Hôtel Odessa
© Discover Paris!

Both Le M Hôtel and the Hôtel Odessa anticipate welcoming visitors to the exhibition of original Beauford Delaney works entitled Beauford Delaney and Paris: A Breathtaking Evolution. It will be shown at Reid Hall, Columbia Global Centers | Europe Paris in Montparnasse in February 2016.

To learn more about the exhibition, click HERE.


Entrée to Black Paris!™ is a Discover Paris! blog.


in-fact said...

Thanks Monique, these were nice to know about.

About Beauford Delaney said...

You're welcome, in-fact!