- Title: Guided tours shed spotlight on Paris' black history
- Date: 30th August 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER OF BLACK PARIS TOURS, KEVI DONAT SAYING: "These past weeks, months, I've been really interested in Gaston Monnerville. Gaston Monnerville is a man from French Guiana who was president of the French Senate from the late 40s to the late 60s, so he had this really important political position for about 20 years in the mid 1900s, and nobody knows about him, nobody talks about him. He had such an important political position at such a critical moment in France and he's not in history books, he's not anywhere. And you have a couple of people like that, who had interesting positions in France and who are either completely forgotten about or the black part of their identity is often - yeah, ignored, I would say." SIGN FOR FRENCH SENATE DONAT TALKING TO JULIE AND STEVE OUTSIDE THE FRENCH SENATE (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) 62-YEAR-OLD AMERICAN TOURIST FROM BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, U.S.A., JULIE, SAYING: "I think I knew at a superficial level this history was here, but certainly having even just these couple of hours being able to go a little bit deeper has given me a much broader and much richer perspective." (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) 64-YEAR-OLD TOURIST FROM BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, U.S.A., STEVE, SAYING: "Yeah, I think I understand France a little better now, which is what one wants to do when one travels." DONAT TALKING TO JULIE AND STEVE OUTSIDE FRENCH SENATE
- Embargoed: 13th September 2019 15:08
- Keywords: Tour guide Paris people of colour Latin Quarter Sorbonne Pantheon
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003AUEV2HL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Kevi Donat runs walking tours of Paris with a difference - focusing on the black history and culture of the city.
Donat, 35, founded Black Paris Walks six years ago, after working as a tour guide and realising his - and his customers' - interest in the city's diversity.
"I think there's not a lot of attention given to black history in France in general", he said.
Donat, who is originally from the French overseas territory of Martinique and has lived in Paris for ten years, said the tours began as a personal interest.
"I had personal questions about identity. What is being French? What am I doing here? I'm from the Caribbean, the French Caribbean, so we have this special weird relationship with the 'motherland' as we're supposed to call it," he said.
On a sunny Friday morning (August 30), Donat was giving a tour to American tourists Julie and Steve. Walking around the city's iconic Latin Quarter, home to students and intellectuals for centuries, he shed light on the city's hidden black history.
"I think I knew at a superficial level this history was here, but certainly having even just these couple of hours being able to go a little bit deeper has given me a much broader and much richer perspective," Julie said.
(Production: Kathryn Carlson, Thierry Chiarello)
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