In France a permanent State of Emergency adrift

The State of Emergency in France has now been in effect for one year to the day. On November 13, 2015, France underwent the bloodiest attack in modern history, leaving our country in shock. While the hostages were being taken, French President François Hollande, a socialist, announced a state of emergency, an exceptional state that gives administrative authorities such as prefects and police, the power to limit freedoms without recourse to a judicial mandate or warrant. A year later, France, the Country of the Enlightment, is still under the effect of a measure that was meant to be temporary and…

[VIDEO] My TEDx Talk “Don’t try to fit in: make the world embrace who you are”

Last month, I had the pleasure to be invited to take part of Tedx UBIWilz. Here are the thoughts I shared with the audience: How do you deal with the fact of not fitting to the norm? When you’re black and live in a world designed for men and white people? When you don’t look French enough although you feel every inch Parisian? How do you make the world acknowledge who you are? THE VIDEO IS BELOW  

In France just like in the U.S. #BlackLivesMatter #AdamaTraoré

Picture taken during the protest in New York on July juillet 9 2016 (c) Rokhaya Diallo

I’ve been in the U.S. for the past few weeks and it was here that I was shocked to learn of the death of young Adama Traore while in police custody in Beaumont sur Oise.  According to the official version, he succumbed to a heart malfunction.  His family and friends deny this strenuously.  His own mother insists he has never suffered with any cardiac problems and his sister states that her “brother was killed by the police”.  His family has yet to see his body. Adama Traore was a Black man. While the eyes of the world have been riveted…

I finally saw the Broadway play, Eclipsed.

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I finally saw the Broadway play, Eclipsed. Written by actress, Danai Gurira (seen in The Walking Dead and Mother of George, Andrew Dosunmu’s  dazzling film) and directed by Liesl Tommy, the play tells the story of the Liberian Civil War from the perspective of five women. After its successful run at the Public Theater, the play opened at the Golden Theater.  Not only is this the first time in Broadway history that women entirely run a production, but it is run by Black women. This season, it is also the only new play written by a woman. Oscar winner Lupita…

I was at Nate Parker’s sensational Stanford event

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“This film isn’t about endurance, or resilience. This film is about resistance.” Those are the words Nate Parker used to describe his film The Birth of a Nation, winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance. During a stopover in Palo Alto, I took a side trip to Stanford where the African and African American Studies Department was hosting its annual St. Clair Drake Memorial Lecture. The guest speaker was Nate Parker, first seen a few years ago with Denzel Washington in The Great Debaters.  He came to screen his first full-length film and present his…

BET HONORS – I WAS THERE!

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I had the pleasure of covering the 2016 BET HONORS Ceremony for BET. Traditionally, the ceremony is held in February, Black History Month.  But snowzilla hit, pushing it into March. BET HONORS began in 2008 to recognize African Americans who excel in such varied fields as business, entertainment, film or public service. This year’s awards went to: Lee Daniels (TV and Film) – Director of The Butler, among others and creator of the hit TV series, Empire; Eric Holder (Public Service) – former US Attorney General; Mellody Hobson (Corporate Citizen); Patti LaBelle (Music Arts) – iconic singer with over 50…

Best looks from the Cesar 2016

Deborah-Francois

The forty-first Cesars Ceremony was held on last February 26, 2016 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Unlike in the United States, there are few occasions in France for celebrities to hit the Red Carpet in their grand finery. To keep us satisfied though, each year we French host the Cannes Festival in May and the Cesars each winter. Let’s have a look at our beautiful actresses to see if they did us justice. My first favorite was the mistress of ceremonies, Florence Foresti and her immense burgundy velvet bow tie. Our super MC’s humor was at the root…

Kendrick Lamar : The revolution is now being televised

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I am still processing what took place on February 15, 2016 at the Grammys. I don’t own a TV, by choice, but that day, I subscribed to the Network in order to stream the award show live. I was curious to see what type of performance Kendrick Lamar would present. The performance opens up on a jail-like setting, four cells in which black men are locked up. One of them played a melancholic melody on the saxophone: the sound of Terrace Martin. You could also see black men out of these jail cells, in chains and shackles, walking up the…

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT IN “SELFIE MODE” FOR BET

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It’s official.  I’m exporting myself across the Atlantic for BET BUZZ, the daily magazine  show I host with RAPHAL and HEDIA.  Now no one will miss any breaking news from the States! As your network correspondent in the US, I’ll keep you posted on goings-on in the heart of African American culture and will bring you exclusives on the biggest events through reports from New York, interviews and conferences, like for example, the one I took part in at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem.  I’ll also take you inside the BET Studios in Washington and backstage at the network’s…

Panel at the Apollo Theater / WNYC’s MLK Event : Race and Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas

On Sunday January 17, MLK DAY, I was invited by WYNC (New York Public radio)  to participate in an intense   panel discussion about the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the  iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Dr Eddie Glaude, Jr, , Ph.D. – Author and Chair of Princeton University’s African-American Studies Department and Taylor Branch – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and historian best known for his award-wining trilogy of books chronicling the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, were among the panelists. AT the standing room only event,  our moderator, Brian Lehrer, asked each…

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A bientôt, Rokhaya Diallo

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