Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African American Studies


Gonda, Jeffrey D


Activism, Black Feminism, Modern France, Pan Africanism

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | European History | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Women's Studies


"In Search of Systemic Liberation: Black Feminist Activism amongst French Women ofAfrican Descent in Contemporary France" examines the activisms of Isabelle Boni-Claverie, Assa Traoré, and the anti-racist and feminist collective, Lallab. In so doing, this thesis examines how the collective of each challenges France's narrative around race, belonging, and national identity. Through the analysis of the works by Boni-Claverie, Traoré, and Lallab, as well as the analysis of the responses from French media and French politicians, this thesis examines the ways in which these activists' political ideology and organizing pushes against France's national narrative of color-blind universalism in the present-day. Through a qualitative analysis grounded in postcolonial theory, critical race theory, and Black feminist theory, this thesis addresses the ways in which each activist invokes North American Black feminist theory in their political message and their political ideology with the goal of bringing systemic and structural change to the French institutions that actively oppress its nonwhite citizens. Moreover, this thesis traces the works of Boni-Claverie, Traoré, and Lallab, and connects their forms of activism to the larger Pan African liberatory thought and practice. Through this consideration, this thesis posits that the activisms of Boni-Claverie, Traoré, and Lallab are part of the larger Pan African liberatory thought and practice because of their collective efforts to reorient France's perception of peoples of African descent as well as their commitment to grassroots organizing and community outreach. For these reasons, the activisms of Boni-Claverie, Traoré, and Lallab are distinct in the larger social justice movement occurring in France today.


Open Access



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