For Blacks in France, Obama’s Rise Is Reason to Rejoice, and to Hope

Michael Kimmelman, International Herald Tribune, June 17, 2008

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A new black consciousness is emerging in France, lately hastened by, of all things, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president of the United States. An article in Le Monde a few days ago described how Obama is “stirring up high hopes” among blacks here. Even seeing the word “noir” (“black”) in a French newspaper was an occasion for surprise until recently.

Meanwhile, this past weekend, 60 cars were burned and some 50 young people scuffled with police and firemen, injuring several of them, in a poor minority suburb of Vitry-le-François, in the Marne region of northeast France.

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