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Obscuring Race

Franco-African Conversations about Colonial Reform and Racism after World War II and the Making of Colorblind France, 1945–1950

Emily Marker

In 1945, the first significant cohort of African, Caribbean, and Malagasy deputies were elected to the French National Assembly, where they participated in special parliamentary commissions tasked with colonial reform. This article traces the contours of postwar conversations about colonial policy, race, and racism that took shape in those commissions, as metropolitan and colonial deputies confronted these issues face-to-face, as ostensible equals, for the first time. Deputies of color tried to force frank discussions about racial inequality in their campaigns to reform political representation, working conditions, education, and compensation for Africans. Their metropolitan counterparts responded, however, by developing new code words and rhetorical strategies that deflected accusations of systemic racial inequality in postwar Greater France. The competing understandings and ways of talking about race and racism produced in this encounter helped consolidate a postwar speech regime of “colorblindness” that obscured the way racial logics were inscribed in the new institutions of the postwar Republic.

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The French Empire Goes to San Francisco

The Founding of the United Nations and the Limits of Colonial Reform

Jessica Lynne Pearson

in all territories under French rule. 3 Although these two processes of international and colonial reform were unfolding almost simultaneously, the visionaries behind these projects often faced challenges while mapping new international structures

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Colonial Reform and Racism after World War II and the Making of Colorblind France, 1945–1950 (Vol. 33, No. 3, 1) THOMPSON, Christopher S . From Black-Blanc-Beur to Black-Black-Black ? “ L’Affaire des Quotas ” and the Shattered “Image of 1998” in Twenty

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Globalizing the History of French Decolonization

Jessica Lynne Pearson

important for colonial reformers as it was for those people who wanted to see the definitive end to colonial rule. While the founding of the UN in 1945 would offer new opportunities to look beyond the frontiers of the empire, global thinking about colonial

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‘The Expenditure of a Million of British Sovereigns in this Otherwise Miserable Place’

Frontier Wars, Public Debt and the Cape’s Non-racial Constitution

Jeff Peires

are looking at. Earl Grey, the Colonial Secretary in Lord John Russell’s Whig government, was influenced by the Colonial Reform group and tended to support self-government in places like Canada, on the basis that self-governing colonies were bound to

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An Indochinese Dominion

L'Effort indochinois and Autonomy in a Global Context, 1936–1939

M. Kathryn Edwards

Front, combined with the threat of global war in the late 1930s, contributed to a dynamic debate over colonial reform, modernization, and the future of Indochina's relationship with France. L'Annam nouveau' s assessment of the political climate of the

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Félix Germain

people from the French colonies who fought for colonial reforms. 38 Thus for Cook, the literature and political activism of these authors was an integral part of French society and culture. He substantiated this claim by discussing the literary and

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Navigating the Fourth Republic

West African University Students between Metropolitan France and Dakar

Harry Gamble

(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018). 7 On the semantic shifts introduced after World War II, and the elisions that they entailed, see Emily Marker, “Obscuring Race: Franco-African Conversations about Colonial Reform and Racism after World War II

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Frédéric Viguier

policies of colonial reform started in the 1930s and expanded after World War II. 18 These policies played an important role in the decolonization process and the paths followed after independence. 19 The rise of international organizations, of

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Colonising ‘Free’ Will

A Critique of Political Decolonisation in Ghana

Bernard Forjwuor

we shall lose the African continent as we did the American in the 18th century’ ( Roger and Robinson 1982: 44 ). It may seem counter-intuitive that the first approach to colonial reform must implicate the notion of statesmanship as a necessary means