Black people in France

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French Black People
Total population
Approximately 3-5 million (2008);
it is illegal for the French State to collect data on ethnicity and race.
Regions with significant populations
Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nantes, Lille, French West Indies, French Guiana, Réunion, Mayotte, New Caledonia
French; various African languages, French Creoles and others
Islam, Christianity, Atheism, Irreligion

French Black people or Black people in France (French: Noirs de France), are French citizens or residents who are of black African origin.

Population statistics[edit]

Although it is illegal for the French state to collect data on ethnicity and race (a law with its origins in the 1789 revolution and reaffirmed in the constitution of 1958),[1] various population estimates exist. An article in The New York Times in 2008 stated that estimates vary between 3 million and 5 million,[2] it is estimated that four out of five black people in France are of African immigrant origin, with the minority being chiefly of Caribbean ancestry.[3][4]

Some organizations, such as the Representative Council of France's Black Associations (French: Conseil représentatif des associations noires de France, CRAN), have argued in favor of the introduction of data collection on minority groups but this has been resisted by other organizations and ruling politicians,[5][6] often on the grounds that collecting such statistics goes against France's secular principles and harks back to Vichy-era identity documents.[7] During the 2007 presidential election, however, Nicolas Sarkozy was polled on the issue and stated that he favoured the collection of data on ethnicity.[8] Part of a parliamentary bill which would have permitted the collection of data for the purpose of measuring discrimination was rejected by the Conseil Constitutionnel in November 2007.[1]

Notable people[edit]

In French politics[edit]

Afro-French members of the French Parliament or government from overseas France[edit]

There have been dozens of Afro-Caribbean or Afro-French MPs representing overseas electoral districts at the French National Assembly or at the French Senate, and several government members.

Afro-French people elected in metropolitan France[edit]

Political activists[edit]

In sports[edit]

In basketball[edit]

In football[edit]

Other sports[edit]

In entertainment and media[edit]

American-born Josephine Baker in 1932

European / African (or Afro-Caribbean) descent[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oppenheimer, David B. (2008). "Why France needs to collect data on racial a French way". Hastings International and Comparative Law Review. 31 (2): 735–752. SSRN 1236362.
  2. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (17 June 2008). "For blacks in France, Obama's rise is reason to rejoice, and to hope". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  3. ^ Bennhold, Katrin (3 August 2006). "Black anchor fills top spot on French TV". International Herald Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  4. ^ "Franceblack". Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  5. ^ Louis-Georges, Tin (2008). "Who is afraid of Blacks in France? The Black question: The name taboo, the number taboo". French Politics, Culture & Society. 26 (1): 32–44. doi:10.3167/fpcs.2008.260103.
  6. ^ "Black residents of France say they are discriminated against". International Herald Tribune. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  7. ^ "France's ethnic minorities: To count or not to count". The Economist. 390 (8624): 62. 28 March 2009.
  8. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (24 February 2007). "French presidential candidates divided over race census". The Guardian. p. 25. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
  9. ^ Pierre-Yves Lambert, "Conseillers généraux d'origine non-européenne Archived 15 July 2012 at", Suffrage Universel
  10. ^ Pierre-Yves Lambert, "Maires métropolitains d'origine non-européenne Archived 14 July 2012 at", Suffrage Universel