We’re pleased to announce that Monique Y. Wells has been featured as a affiliate of The Brothers’ Network, a cultural organization that highlights positive contributions and representations of African-American men in creative and instructive ways through the arts. Watch a video interview of her with Brothers’ Network National Advisory board member, Anthony Fleet, here: https://youtu.be/8K4VOc6t0cA.
Archive for the ‘Americans in Paris’ Category
Anthony Fleet, an American graduate student at Sciences Po (Paris Institute of Political Studies), came by yesterday to create a video of our own Monique Y. Wells for The Brothers’ Network, a cultural organization that amplifies the brilliance of black men in the arts and culture.
We’ll post a link to the video as soon as it is completed!
This summer, three interns working for the Wells International Foundation have contributed to our “Entrée to Black Paris,” “Paris Insights,” and “Les Amis de Beauford Delaney” blogs. Samantha Gilliams and Hanna Gressler are seniors at American University of Paris and Tatiana Balabanis is a junior at Stanford University.
Click here to see the names of the articles (and their links): http://discoverparis.net/whatsnew.html
The Wells International Foundation summer interns pose for a photograph in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. Click here to learn about the current projects of the foundation: http://www.wellsinternationalfoundation.org/current-projects/.
When I first opened this book, I wasn’t sure that I would want to finish it: it seemed to be about a confused woman with a troubled mind, working through her problems. I didn’t think that I’d want to spend my time reading about her sorrows and I didn’t think that I’d have the patience to read to the end to see if she overcame them.
But as I continued to read, I became intrigued with her story: her mother was a desperately unhappy woman who smothered her daughter with love on the one hand, but, on the other, tried to undermine her daughter’s career aspirations when she realized that they would draw her away from home. When the mother finally died of cancer, the daughter was left with a great sense of loss—an overwhelming attachment to the memory of her mother coupled with confusion about how to get on with her life. Was she worthy of aspiring to happiness? This seems to be the overarching question that she needed to resolve, and that is where Paris comes into the story.
The mother and daughter had planned to travel to Paris just before the mother died. After the mother’s death, the daughter traveled to Paris with her sister and, at some point, decided to purchase an apartment there. And for the rest of the book, the daughter, step by hesitant step, transfers her life from New York City to Paris. By the end of the book, she realizes that the challenge of moving to and living in the City of Light has helped her acquire a sense of entitlement to strive for happiness.
The book is full of descriptive detail about Paris. I especially enjoyed reading the descriptions of the neighborhood in which Anselmo purchased a small apartment, the French people she met, and her difficulties in learning the language. I appreciated her descriptions of food, cafés, and restaurants and, near the end of the book, her narrative about the château where she joined a French family for a three-day feast. It all rang true to me, a resident of the French capital for the last twenty-four years and a Francophile since 1975.
This book will appeal to readers who nurture a dream of someday moving to Paris, or to those who simply want to read a good adventure story about a woman who sets out to change her life.
My (Part-Time) Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo is available on Amazon.
Tom Reeves is the author of Dining Out in Paris – What You Need to Know Before You Get to the City of Light.
On Tuesday evening, March 29, the American Library in Paris hosted a tribute to James A. Emanuel. Born in 1921 and raised in the small town of Alliance, Nebraska, Emanuel went on to become professor of African-American poetry at the City College of New York. In 1984, following the death of his son, he moved to Paris. He died there in 2013.
The American Library’s biography of the poet states:
“James A. Emanuel was one of America’s greatest poets and academic scholars. Often overlooked, Emanuel’s fame did not equal the enormous output of his work. He published 400 poems and 13 volumes of poetry, including The Force and the Reckoning, an autobiography. He was a well-respected teacher who influenced an entire generation of students and poets.”
The evening program included readings of Emanuel’s poetry by author Jake Lamar; actress and director Ariane Crochet; professor Marcus Bruce; writer, editor, and entrepreneur Monique Y. Wells; editor and translator Wendy Johnson; and spoken-word artist Mike Ladd. Saxophonist Chansse Evans and drummer Chris Henderson provided musical accompaniment to Lamar’s reading of several of Emanuel’s jazz haikus. Following the reading, retired teacher, engraver, and photographer Godelieve Simons and retired teacher Annick Bossuet gave personal testimonials about Emanuel.
An online tribute to James A. Emanuel can be found here: http://blogcritics.org/no-more-ghettos-on-the-death-of-james-a-emanuel-poet/
The last conference to be held around the themes evoked by the Beauford Delaney exhibition in Paris took place last night. Entitled “African Americans in the City of Light,” the conference opened with the screening of a documentary film of the same name.
Produced by Joanne and David Burke of Blue Lion Films, this one-hour video features the story of African-American artists, writers, entertainers, and musicians who lived in Paris from the period following World War I to the Nazi occupation of France in 1940. Some of the persons featured are:
- Josephine Baker
- Langston Hughes
- Palmer Hayden
- Eugene Bullard
- Loïs Mailou Jones
After the screening, the associate producer, Julia Browne of Walking the Spirit Tours, answered questions from the audience and facilitated lively discussion.
The film is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2016. For further information and to place an order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Wednesday, February 17, the cultural service of the American Embassy in Paris hosted a concert entitled “The Roots of American Music.” Soprano Nicole Taylor, accompanied by pianist Daniel J. Ernst, sang a medley of spirituals that were composed or arranged by 20th century African-American song writers.
The backdrop for the performance was a work of art rendered by French artist Batsh.
Following the wonderful performance before an appreciative audience, everyone repaired to the Green Room for beverages and hors d’œuvres. Among the attendees at the concert was Madame George Pau-Langevin, Minister of French Overseas Territories.
There are a number of videos of Nicole Taylor on YouTube, including this one, a performance that she gave in Doha, Qatar in 2012.