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Being black in France and in the United States : a comparison

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  1. History and culture: colors and contrasts
    1. A similar racial prejudice
    2. A different history of contestation
  2. Political science and political philosophy: the two sisters enemies
    1. The French abstract universalism and doctrine of assimilation: antitheses of multiculturalism?
    2. The United States: pluralism and multiculturalist policies
  3. Sociology and politics: latent discriminations, contradictory policies of struggle
    1. Some blatant inequalities
    2. Equal opportunity without affirmative action?
  4. Current debates and prospects
    1. 2005: the sudden appearance of a black question in France. A complex issue merging identity, history and passions
    2. A brown America and a ?moving color line?? The specificity of African-Americans at stake

"Penser et agir par nous-mêmes et pour nous-mêmes, en Nègres, accéder à la modernité sans piétiner notre authenticité". That is how the famous thinker of the "Négritude", Leopold Sendar Senghor, described the challenge that fell on black people in the whole world at the dawn of the 21st century. If the 20th century had been the time of fights for liberty against oppressions of any kind, the next era should leave its mark as the time of recognition and respect. The new awareness concerning black people must be developed in two contradictory ways, considering them as a whole community that has taken its revenge on history, racism and murderous stupidity, as well as a kaleidoscope of unique, different and equal individuals who seek, like everybody else, identity and consideration. This unavoidable dialectic makes the demands of black people complex and latent, all the more so, since they concern people that have been suffering from uncountable oppression during history and that still know discriminations. They also arise in countries that have very different conceptions of their minorities, and history, traditions of political philosophy and the burden of the past are combined to create a national policy for black people

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