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Part-time lecturer @ Université de la Sorbonne


Dr Josiane Ranguin is a part-time lecturer at Sorbonne University and Sorbonne Paris Nord University where she teaches literature and postcolonial film. She has published Mediating the Windrush Children: Caryl Phillips, and Horace Ové (Peter Lang, 2021) after receiving her PhD from Sorbonne Paris Nord University for her work on novels and plays by Caryl Phillips. She has also published chapters and articles on Black British writing, African American literature and film.

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Crossing Borders


Transnational Garveyism: When Tonton David Had Marcus Garvey Top the French Charts

When David Grammont passed away on February 16, 2021, emotions ran high among French Afro-descendants. Better known as Tonton David, he had managed to voice the frustrations, expectations and ideals of a generation of disenfranchised Black youths. His first hit, 'Peuples du Monde,' had these two lines for chorus: 'Je suis issu d'un peuple qui a beaucoup souffert/Je suis issu d'un peuple qui ne veut plus souffrir' (I come from a much suffering people, I come from a people determined not to suffer anymore). With this song, Tonton David, a ragamuffin singer, established himself as a memory activist, reminding all of the consequences of the slavery past. In so doing, he reinscribed a people in history and endeavoured to open new vistas for the future, in a country where the word 'race' has been struck from the Constitution but where racism matters. A closer study of the hit reveals that the main inspiration for the chorus comes from a 53 speech by Marcus Garvey delivered in 1920 and that the song itself is a montage of Marcus Garvey quotes. The paper proposes to examine David Grammont's approach and tribute to Marcus Garvey in a French context.

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