Since the turn of the millennium, French society has become the theatre of a noticeable Black agency. Few previous events have ignited the media's interest in a Black French agenda more than the Collectif Égalité-led “March for the dignity of Black peoples” and the formation of the Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires (CRAN). Through these newly-founded organizations, French activists of African descent have been challenging the hegemonic ideology of color-blindness, and heralding the claims, problems, and expectations of postcolonial African-descended people.
Informed by this ideology of so-called color-blindness, the academic literature in France has been slow to account for this new form of political expression. Moreover, as this article will argue, postcolonial African-descended people have not been recognized as political agents in the French literature. Few studies have attempted to correct this myopic view by analyzing the current political dynamic of postcolonial African-descended people. Due to the state-centered or institutionalist approach, these studies are more concerned with highlighting external and structural factors, such as racial discrimination, at the expense of endogenous determinants. They focus on what postcolonial African-descended people are denied in the French society instead of investigating the qualities these citizens actually possess that enable them to organize collectively. This article is intended to contribute to this new literature. It will pinpoint the different transformations that postcolonial African-descended people have undergone from the 1960s through the 1990s, examine the resources and skills under these actors' control, and gauge the contribution of these resources and skills to the emergence of a Black collective voice.