From Madame Noire: In America we’re used to events, competitions, and celebrations that openly recognize black beauty but in France that type of movement isn’t nearly as widespread or as accepted. As the country’s capital city of Paris prepares to host its first ever ‘Miss Black France’ pageant tomorrow, questions over the necessity and the effect this event could have on race relations are brewing.
Despite having the full approval of the French Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN), the organization’s founder and president Patrick Lozès said the pageant is hardly “progressive.”
“This logic is detrimental to the values of French society,” he said. “If I think that there are not enough Black people in the most prestigious schools and companies, am I going to go create establishments exclusively reserved for Blacks?”
Historian Pascal Blanchard, a specialist in immigration at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, agrees and went so far as to call the initiative “stupid” and “dangerous.”
“I know that in the US, there are ethnic beauty contests. The fact that they’re tolerated doesn’t change my mind,” he said. “Anytime that anyone, no matter where in the world, talks to me about a contest reserved for a specific racial category, I hit the roof!”
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