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Old 01-08-2014, 03:05 AM
 
49 posts, read 279,409 times
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I'm African American in my mid 20s. I consider myself as self aware. I have a fondness of learning about history and other cultures, so I decided to pursue the French language. I want to experience another country however I see that I should expect some.. issues if I go abroad. I was told I'd be "ok" (in Europe) once they realize I'm African American.. which makes me wonder if I want to know what happens if some don't.

So outside of the US, which francophone country am I least likely to run into racial issues? I know for religious & political reasons I'd prefer to stay out of Africa, as an American for now.

This narrows things down Belgium, France, Switzerland and Canada. For Canada, in Quebec, is Montreal more racially tolerant than Quebec City? Are they on par? I know there is hostility as an Anglophone but that is a whole different issue. I've been reading things that are bumming me out about France to be honest but I'd still like your opinions especially if you've been and are black.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:02 AM
 
Location: Europe
1,668 posts, read 3,272,530 times
Reputation: 1161
Europe is tolerant and people are not obssesed with origins or skin colour, nobody will ask you or wonder where you come from, and if they do it is just to start a conversation without any consequence. I can't understand the big amount of threads like this on this forum.
Is this important in America?
Should I worry about racism against me if I decide to move to a black country?

Sometimes I think the answer is YES to both questions.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:07 AM
 
49 posts, read 279,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catbelle View Post
Europe is tolerant and people are not obssesed with origins or skin colour, nobody will ask you or wonder where you come from, and if they do it is just to start a conversation without any consequence. I can't understand the big amount of threads like this on this forum.
Is this important in America?
Should I worry about racism against me if I decide to move to a black country?

Sometimes I think the answer is YES to both questions.
Personally, I'm not concerned with discussing my skin color. I mean I don't expect to be treated like royalty just because I am black or American. I would love to blend in and take in everything as a local would if I had that option. I'm an introvert anyway, so the less attention or more neutral treatment the better however I have read instances where maybe some people were denied services, exposed to prejudices, unfairly questioned/searched by cops and more as a result of racial tension between locals and Africans and Islamics.

I read LeMonde and reports in other French journalistic sites (to practice my reading skills) so I often see some crazy stories on there. Things that might not go without at least sparking some outrage in America, had it happened here anyway.

It is important to Americans for a number of reasons. Unlike Europeans in Europe, almost all Americans are more recently immigrants.. one way or another. Knowing where their ancestors come from can be interesting to learn where a part of you came from. We do it here (legally) to keep track on other things like poverty, crime, education, health etc. to make sure as Americans, most are on the same level so that our nation can be strong as one.. at least in theory I assume. Like I said there are various reasons. There is the historical reasoning as to why race matters here also..

Not saying it is true but for example I read an opinion story stating that in France (or most of Europe?) there is no racial data so that politically there is no incentive to do anything if there is unbiased treatment for one group or another especially minorities and/or lower classes obviously. It is much easier to sweep under the rug this way and issues go unsolved. I would like to tag this as conspiracy and speculation but I have seen some racial problems, even as recently as November 2013.

UN slams 'racist attacks' on French black politician - France - France 24
Compared to the American story, this seems to be swept under the rug as "meh".

I've never been outside of the US and I'm definitely not saying the US is best. Overall, I'd just like to know what I should expect. I realize other countries may indeed have other problems. If so, just what should I expect? As far as black countries, no idea. Seems like religion/politics/history would be the issue in most of Africa but I'm just speculating like I said.

Last edited by David32; 01-08-2014 at 05:17 AM..
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:15 AM
Status: "... tired ..." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Europe
4,518 posts, read 2,661,173 times
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I think you could/should look into the French colonies the islands like Saint Martin that still are part of France. I saw part of a tv documentary about living there do not recall the name of the tv show.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:01 AM
 
49 posts, read 279,409 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerys52SoSilver View Post
I think you could/should look into the French colonies the islands like Saint Martin that still are part of France. I saw part of a tv documentary about living there do not recall the name of the tv show.
I don't know anything of the former/current colonies really. Most of the college programs are in Europe and Quebec.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Hong Kong / Vienna
4,557 posts, read 5,938,241 times
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Personally, I don't see any reasons for not going to Quebec or Europe. I don't think that you'll have to expect more racism than in the US.

Those odd stories you read in French newspapers are just that: Stories that made it into the news because they are unusual.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:20 AM
 
2,258 posts, read 5,232,691 times
Reputation: 2045
Quote:
Originally Posted by David32 View Post
I'm African American in my mid 20s. I consider myself as self aware. I have a fondness of learning about history and other cultures, so I decided to pursue the French language. I want to experience another country however I see that I should expect some.. issues if I go abroad. I was told I'd be "ok" (in Europe) once they realize I'm African American.. which makes me wonder if I want to know what happens if some don't.

So outside of the US, which francophone country am I least likely to run into racial issues? I know for religious & political reasons I'd prefer to stay out of Africa, as an American for now.

This narrows things down Belgium, France, Switzerland and Canada. For Canada, in Quebec, is Montreal more racially tolerant than Quebec City? Are they on par? I know there is hostility as an Anglophone but that is a whole different issue. I've been reading things that are bumming me out about France to be honest but I'd still like your opinions especially if you've been and are black.
You are overly sensitive. Nothing's gonna happen.

"Experience another country" ? What's that? 1 year or a vacation ?

You're not gonna be "American" in Africa anyway. You'll be African. And you're black, so you are not gonna be a target. But that's not really why I would stay away from Africa. It's simply a big dump.

In France, though, I'd be afraid of being massacred for speaking/knowing more than one word of English.

Nobody can give you much info if you don't provide more details. Canada would of course be next door and cheaper. But it's confined to a limited area. Perhaps easier to stay there for one year.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:38 AM
Status: "... tired ..." (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Europe
4,518 posts, read 2,661,173 times
Reputation: 5499
Found this French language studies in the Caribbean - programs - SA - Find a Study Abroad Program with StudyAbroad.com

This is only a winter course but you could email and ask if they know where one can study college level french on the islands.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:38 AM
 
3,072 posts, read 4,938,482 times
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Montreal is more 'tolerant' than Quebec City in the sense that there is a sizable portion of blacks (mostly in Montreal North and mostly from Haitian descent for obvious language reasons), as well as other racial minorities. Quebec City is very French and outside tourism, nearly all white Quebecois. I admit to feeling like an outsider even as a white anglophone there. It's not 'racist', it's just that you will stick out like a sore thumb, whereas you will not in Montreal.

Both are great places to learn French, and the north of Montreal is more French than the other parts, since it is comprised of many immigrants of French-language origin (the far west of Montreal is more anglophone). There are lots of great places to learn French there, bienvenue!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:14 PM
 
1,334 posts, read 2,457,358 times
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Paris is also very diverse, you will not have more problems than in a North American cities.
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