African American History in Paris Trip

ParisPoster2015This trip is done ANNUALLY.

Next Paris trip: 2019 dates to be announced, probably early May 2019

Last Paris Trip: April 29-May 1, 2018

The aim of this study trip is to introduce students to the rich history of African American artists, writers and intellectuals who have lived in Paris since the 18th century, but especially since World War One, when black American troops brought jazz to France and sparked a hundred year old love affair between the two cultures.

We begin the weekend with a workshop on Friday afternoon, where everyone discusses the readings by Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes (in the Reader I distribute in a meeting before the trip). Don’t worry — it’s more of a discussion than a seminar! On Saturday our visit of Paris begins with a bus tour of Paris and Montmartre (stopping at the Alexandre Dumas monument and the Place Josephine Baker), then we have lunch in an African restaurant, and visit the St. Germain des Prés are on foot. We see where Richard Wright discussed politics and existentialism with Jean Paul Sartre, where Malcolm X stayed, and where Josephine Baker performed her famous banana dance. We also see the so-called Beat Hotel, where Burroughs finished writing Naked Lunch and where Chester Himes wrote A Rage in Harlem.

In 2015, we saw a concert about the history of the Motown music label, the most important producer of African American music in the U.S., and ate at Le Select, the restaurant where James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway and Fitzgerald hung out. The evening activities change from year to year. Whatever it will be, you can be sure it will be memorable and fun!

Some photos from the 2017 trip

Here are some photos of 2015

Some others of 2014