Being black in France is being a bit invisible. It’s like trying to speak but no one can hear you because all the dominant people are all the same in every generation. Even if you grow up in a white place, your friends will never understand you and you know that your paths will be different in the end because they have more opportunities than you, and you know it, and when you grow up you understand it. That’s what it’s like being black in France. I hope it’ll change but things are very closed and they don’t like to talk about racism. They’re like, ‘No, we’re so French, we’re so cute, that’s not us.’ The racism, they don’t like to talk about it. They’re like, ‘No, we’re all the same.’ We say in French that we are one and of the same blood, but when you are in the minority you know that is not true. All the people who have the power say, ‘No, we are all the same.’ Voila.
I study political science, but I stopped this year to work and to have a bit of money to follow my studies.
My Experience With Racism
When I went in a club, the security directly said to me, ‘I don’t like to have black people here.’ I forgot the name of the club but they were doing Tarantino’s film so I just wanted to see the set. But they said we don’t really like black people here.
Also, I used to play tennis and it’s very white. I went to a competition, and when there’s nobody around you can sit wherever you want. We were three black girls and four white girls. They came to see us black girls and said this is not your place, you have to go upstairs. We stood up and went upstairs and sat down and we thought, why are there only black people there. We thought the girls would follow us but when we sat down we were like, why are they there and we’re are only black girls. I was like 17, and for me I knew that racism existed but you cannot imagine that people don’t like you just because of your color and don’t have a problem with it.
I really like vintage: the shoes, the colors. I don’t like brands so I prefer when nothing is written on my clothes and it’s really good material and I can find it in the vintage store for very cheap.
Legeune Michgline, Cameroon