chapter  7
50 Pages

“Because You Were There.” Shards of the Colonial Past

The chapter explores what happened in Strasbourg, then focuses on, 'Postcolonialism'. That is, French people of color with roots in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, offers depictions of their experiences in France. In Morocco, religion is politics is umma: community. It's all bound up together. Jews had a place there, they were well treated, there was an understanding, they were among the King's advisors. There was always an entente cordiale between Muslims and Jews. The fact that their appearance signals to all that they are not persons of color is fundamental to understanding their lives in North Africa and since. Their family's experience of flight in fear for their lives is shared by two other interviewees from colonial Algeria, persons who are considered to be visibly different: persons of Muslim origin, referred to as Harkis, who fought with the French against the uprising of 1954-62, and lost. Migration in Europe today is not so intense that it actually is destabilizing societies.