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In post-2005 France, blackness has finally become visible. Faces of blackness now appear on television, in the press and in ads covering the walls of Paris underground. The former Miss France Sonia Rolland today has a position alongside historical icons of beauty such as Marianne, who has long represented the body politic of French society, to encapsulate the multicultural nature of the black-blanc-beur (black-white-Arabic) country. The black populations of France have taken this moment in French history to represent blackness in their own terms. Not only do they complement the national narrative with a multiracial background or document on the long-lasting black presence in France but they also create imagery that synthesizes their past (French, African and/or Caribbean ancestries) to create a new definition of what it means to be black and French today. This joint objective is particularly visible in the contemporary construction of a black form of beauty which combines multiple cultures with influences from the African and black diasporas. Beauty turns into an instrument to invent positive images of a black self à la française. Creating, promoting or defending ‘black beauty,’ the term used in English has become a militant action. It not only means fighting against past representations of black bodies exposed in colonial exhibitions as they were in the past, and the failures of the French model of intégration but also represents a striving for empowerment and critiquing, resisting and challenging past beauty paradigms. Models like Noémie Lenoir have become the icons of this black ‘cause’ that display a black aesthetic in which the body represents a new black French consciousness. Based on recent qualitative field work conducted in Paris, this chapter seeks to explain how the pursuit of Afro-French/Afro-modern beauty becomes a political argument for black French women. It also explores the meaning of black beauty in a transnational perspective, stressing how the global circulation of images influences a community ascription.

In: Crafting Allure: Beauty, Culture and Identity
In: African Diaspora

In post-2005 France, blackness has finally become visible. Faces of blackness now appear on television, in the press and in ads covering the walls of Paris underground. The former Miss France Sonia Rolland today has a position alongside historical icons of beauty such as Marianne, who has long represented the body politic of French society, to encapsulate the multicultural nature of the black-blanc-beur (black-white-Arabic) country. The black populations of France have taken this moment in French history to represent blackness in their own terms. Not only do they complement the national narrative with a multiracial background or document on the long-lasting black presence in France but they also create imagery that synthesizes their past (French, African and/or Caribbean ancestries) to create a new definition of what it means to be black and French today. This joint objective is particularly visible in the contemporary construction of a black form of beauty which combines multiple cultures with influences from the African and black diasporas. Beauty turns into an instrument to invent positive images of a black self à la française. Creating, promoting or defending ‘black beauty,’ the term used in English has become a militant action. It not only means fighting against past representations of black bodies exposed in colonial exhibitions as they were in the past, and the failures of the French model of intégration but also represents a striving for empowerment and critiquing, resisting and challenging past beauty paradigms. Models like Noémie Lenoir have become the icons of this black ‘cause’ that display a black aesthetic in which the body represents a new black French consciousness. Based on recent qualitative field work conducted in Paris, this chapter seeks to explain how the pursuit of Afro-French/Afro-modern beauty becomes a political argument for black French women. It also explores the meaning of black beauty in a transnational perspective, stressing how the global circulation of images influences a community ascription.

In: Crafting Allure: Beauty, Culture and Identity
A Journal of Transnational Africa in a Global World
Editor-in-Chief:
African Diaspora is a biannual peer reviewed interdisciplinary journal that takes the African diaspora as a space shaped by the circulations, contacts, and interactions between African and Afro-descendant cultures, societies and histories. It explores the diaspora/s and intersects themes such as communities, identities, transnational movements, solidarities, nationalisms but also displacements and settlements, culture in the widest sense of the term, belonging and citizenship, kinship, religious ritual and symbolism.

African Diaspora encourages the submission of original, empirical, theoretical, and conceptual and critical articles based on rigorous research from any discipline in social sciences and the humanities. It accepts a variety of articles including different writing registers, from the more classic to more experimental tones. Contributions in English and French are accepted.

African Diaspora regularly produces thematic issues and invites guest editors. A developing arts-oriented strand encourages suggestions and submissions for artistic involvement: this includes visual materials, interviews, ethnographic fiction and poetry. These will also receive peer-reviewed attention. It is the journal's policy to promote the publication from a range of scholars, including early career, senior and independent scholars and to provide a platform for discussion and exchange.
All correspondence to afdi@brill.com
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African Diaspora est une revue interdisciplinaire semestrielle, à comité de lecture, consacrée à la diaspora africaine vue comme un espace façonné par les circulations, les contacts et les interactions entre les cultures, les sociétés et les histoires africaines et afro-descendantes. Il explore les diaspora/s, et aborde des thèmes tels que les communautés, les identités, les mouvements transnationaux, les solidarités, les nationalismes mais aussi les déplacements et les implantations, la culture au sens le plus large du terme, les appartenances et la citoyenneté, la parenté, les rituels et le symbolisme religieux.

African Diaspora encourage la soumission d'articles inédits, empiriques, théoriques, conceptuels et critiques basés sur des recherches rigoureuses dans toutes les disciplines des sciences sociales et humaines. Elle reçoit une variété d'articles aux différents registres d'écriture, des formes les plus classiques aux plus expérimentales. Les contributions en anglais et en français sont acceptées.

African Diaspora publie régulièrement des numéros thématiques et accueille des éditeurs et éditrices invité.e.s. Un axe sur les arts en cours de développement, encourage la proposition et la soumission de travaux artistiques: cela comprend des documents visuels, des entretiens, de la fiction ethnographique et de la poésie. Ceux-ci feront également l'objet d'une évaluation par les pairs. La politique de la revue est de favoriser la publication de chercheur.e.s divers, en début de carrière, confirmés ou indépendants, et de fournir une plateforme de discussion et d'échange.
Toute correspondance à afdi@brill.com
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Abstract

This paper explores Brent Edwards’s 2001 notion of “décalage” and its role in the evolution of the African diaspora studies. I argue that this notion should be profoundly considered in envisioning the future of the field since it not only reflects the original chasm between African and African-American understandings of the diaspora as Edwards states, but it also illustrates how the diaspora has gradually turned into multiple and sometimes scattered diasporas. I also contend that this multiplicity forces us to question what unites African and Afro-descendants today. I do so relying on Gilles Deleuze’s disjunctive synthesis to examine these three dimensions of diasporan relations. I also discuss how ideological frameworks such as Pan-Africanism or Négritude bridged differences thanks to key ideas of emancipation, black existence and connected struggles. I finally explore contemporary models that could renew diaspora studies: Africana and Afro-liminalities.

In: African Diaspora