Paris Noir

African Americans in the City of Light
  • Citation: Stovall, Tyler Edward. Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light . Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1996.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • Paris
    • African Americans
    • culture
    • performers
    • identity

Paris Noir fills a grievous gap in the absorbing chronicle of American expatriates who chose to live in Paris in the twentieth century. For alongside Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein and Henry Miller was an avant-garde and tightly knit community of black American writers, artists, musicians, and political exiles who found in Paris the creative and personal freedom denied them back home.” “A welcoming refuge for writers, Paris embraced Richard Wright, Chester Himes, James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay. A score of all-important jazz musicians lit up the city at night, from Miles Davis to Charlie Parker to Sidney Bechet, while Josephine Baker dazzled audiences with the Danse Sauvage in the Revue Negre. Leaving an equally important mark were the painters and artists who found inspiration in the Paris scene: Henry Ossawa Tanner, Lois Mailou Jones, Ed Clark, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Barbara Chase-Riboud.” “Paris Noir brings this vibrant world to life, beginning with the doughboys who returned to Paris after World War I and moving on through the Jazz Age, the Depression, the years of the Harlem Renaissance, World War II, and the postwar boom.

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