The American domain organizes a yearly study trip for students interested in the history of African American writers, artists and musicians living and working in Paris in the 20th century. The main event of the trip is a guided tour by Julia Browne of Walking the Spirit Tours, who shows the group around the Paris of James Baldwin, Richard Wright and other notable African American writers and provides detailed accounts and anecdotes of their experiences there. From the First World War, when thousands of African American soldiers were first welcomed to France, black Americans have found a home and haven in Paris that nourished their talents and celebrated their work: Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Louis Armstrong, and many others. We explore the history and locales of this vibrant African-American Paris.
Most recent Paris Trip: April 29-May 1, 2016
The aim of this annual 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 began the 2016 weekend visit with a workshop on Friday afternoon, where everyone discussed the readings by Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes. On Saturday our visit of Paris began with a walk around the Latin quarter with Julia Browne of Walking the Spirits tours, and continued with a bus tour of Paris and Montmartre (stopping at the Alexandre Dumas monument and the Place Josephine Baker), and ended with lunch in a Senegalese restaurant in the Marais, le Petit Dakar.