In recent decades historians have done a lot to reveal the social and
political diversity of the people who participated in the French Resistance.
But little has been said about non-white resisters who were among the
200,000 men and women from the colonies living in the French metropole
during the Occupation. This article shows that many of them were entangled
in the Resistance as early as the summer of 1940 and that they became
involved in the most political and violent forms of defiance. Resistance,
however, was not a “natural” decision for many of the colonial workers or
prisoners, whose daily struggles could bring them into tension with the Free
French as well as Vichy. So, if this study aims to rectify misconceptions of the
Resistance as an entirely Eurocentric affair, it also probes the complicated
relationship between colonial subjects and the metropole during the war.