Month of the memory of slavery 

by Loreleï

You want to stay tuned on French-speaking cultures and French language?
Then try the cultural suggestions below for the week of June 2nd to 8th. This week is specially about memory month regarding slavery and slave trade in France (April 27th to June 10th). 

In France, that period is the one where there is the most commemorations about slavery and slave trade. Indeed, there are two national commemorations: May 10th Day for memories of slave trade, slavery and their abolition and May 23rd National day of remembrance for the victims of slavery. Other dates during that period are also marked as remembrance days in some parts of France.

READ - What is it?

« Mémoires de l’esclavage et des abolitions : un mois de commémorations 2020 proposé par la Fondation pour la mémoire de l’esclavage », by Outremers 360°

To learn more about the meanings of those dates and what activities were scheduled in France for them, read this article.


READ - History

« Comprendre l’esclavage », by Fondation pour la mémoire de l’esclavage

A reference website for the memory of slavery and slave trade in France. This foundation has been created less than a year ago and is meant to make of that history a national history.


READ - History Book

Nos ancêtres ne sont pas gaulois ! by François Durpaire

A book that reminds of some facts that have marked French history regarding Black presence in France, slavery and slave trade, but that have been forgotten.


READ  - Novel

L’esclave vieil homme et le Molosse, by Patrick Chamoiseau

It is the history of a slave running to finally escape slavery. He will now live in the forest of this French island, Martinique, while trying to escape the dog his ex-master sent after him. A poetic kind of writing to speak about a serious and violent world.

Patrick Chamoiseau is a famous current French author from Martinique (in the Caribbean).

Available on Culturethèque


LISTEN - For kids

« Comment est apparu l’esclavage ? », by France Info Junior

Some kids of 11 years old ask a history teacher and specialist about slave trade about the appearance of slavery and its history. A short podcast (5 minutes) meant for kids and everyone who ever wondered about those things!


LISTEN - Podcasts

Le travail contre la liberté, by France Culture

A series about slavery. The two last episodes are about slavery in France and its abolition.


 Les Antilles françaises enchaînées à l’esclavage, by France Culture

A series of podcast about the history of slavery in the French Caribbean and its traces in the current society.

MUSIC - World Music

Les chaînes et les larmes de l’esclavage, by Tchapol

 A short CD with 4 songs released in 2016, by a West-African singer, that talks about slavery and slave trade.


WATCH - Emissions

Fondation pour la mémoire de l’esclavage (Foundation for the memory of slavery)

During May 10th and all the ceremonies since then, a live emission was animated with politicians, artists, associations who talked about the ceremonies, the meaning of those dates, the actual debates around that history and the traces it left in the French society and should still be done.

You don’t have to watch all of them, but don’t hesitate to give a look at those registered emissions.


WATCH - Emission

« L’archipel de la Mémoire », by France 3

A shorter live debate released on TV is also another option to have a glimpse of the debates and progresses around recognition of the past French history and what still needs to be done.


WATCH - Colloquium

ACHAC Channel on YouTube

ACHAC channel has published a number of videos from a colloquium on the theme “Images, colonisation, domination on the bodies”.
It also has series of short videos (2-4 minutes) on various themes around slavery and French history regarding colonisation, slave-trade, Black people’s presence in France: Humans zoos, African soldiers in the French army, Black artists and sportsmen.

Give it a try!


WATCH - Historical movie

1802, l’épopée guadeloupéenne, by Christian Lara 

A movie that is available for free online about the history of a revolution on a French island (Guadeloupe) against the emperor Napoleon 1st who put back slavery though it had been banned in 1793 during the French revolution.

An easy way to learn more about French history especially slavery and to practice French!



« L’esclavage, comprendre son histoire » by Lumni

A folder of resources to read and videos to watch about slavery, slave trade, its abolition and its remaining traces today in the French society. Content meant for kids.


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