Are there black people in France?

LIFE SCHOOL / Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Nope, I’m not the one asking you this question, if you’ve read the little introduction about me on this blog, you would know that this would be the weirdest question I could ask, but the funniest thing is that somebody, did ask me this. Let me tell you what happened …

I was on a bus (in Israel, in a city situated in the south of Tel Aviv), and a lady came and sat next to me.

Quick description of her : she was black, dressed in a little black dress and had her nails and makeup did (don’t ask me why I noticed that, I’m a woman and most of us notice these kinds of things), she also had a good bumpy belly, at first I did not want to presume that she was pregnant but during our encounter I figured out that, indeed, she was expecting a baby.

Anyway, so the lady is sitting next to me and out of the blue guess what happens (even if you try to guess you won’t be able to find out) she begins to throw up!

Yep, on the bus, next to me, but Thank God she had a plastic bag with her like she knew it was going to happen. After this, she begins to ask people in Hebrew if someone had a tissue to give her, me, finally understanding what she wanted, I gave it to her to help her out because her black dress was messy and she wanted to clean herself. And with that, we began to talk :

Her – Do you know what should I do with my dress?

Me – Maybe put some water on it right now, and then you’ll put it on the washing machine

Her – I’m sorry for that, I’m having a baby so …

Me – It’s ok. I can see that you’re having a baby.

Her – So Where are you from?

Me – From France

Her – Oh Really, Are there black people in France?

Honestly, I’m not going to lie, before answering her by “Of course there are black people in France” my brain quickly froze for a second. At first, I thought “How it is possible to know that little of a country to presume such a thing that to me, is completely ridiculous ?”.

But the truth is that as ridiculous this question sounds, she represents many of US with the shortest information that we have about the world we are living in and about each other, being neighbors countries.

We generally have the big facts on a country like history, culture, politics, economics, … which is already good.  But until we actually get there we don’t actually know how it is to be or live there, or what kind of people can we meet there. Plus with the news, our opinion about each country is always influenced. For example, I’m not even gonna talk about some reactions I got from my entourage when I told them I was going to Israel, let’s just say that it went from “Oh Wow” to “Oh …, War”. 

With all this, my suggestion for the world would be to keep going to teach yourself about all your foreign neighbors, don’t stay in your bubble and get out of your safety zone, listen to the news but don’t get your opinion from them, and if you have the opportunity, go in many countries as you can, to learn more and learn efficiently, it will keep you from asking the weirdest questions to foreigners you’ll meet in your own country and getting a look of confusion from them.

Marianne. Brownie from West Africa, home based in Paris. Here to share her stories (and tips) about traveling, self love, life etc ...

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