Free(ing) France in Colonial Brazzaville: Race, Urban Space, and the Making of Afrique Française Libre, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Free(ing) France in Colonial Brazzaville

Race, Urban Space, and the Making of Afrique Française Libre, 1st Edition

By Danielle Sanchez


240 pages

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Hardback: 9780815358541
pub: 2020-04-01
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This monograph examines Brazzaville’s role in remaking the Free France movement after the fall of France in 1940. Suddenly, Brazzaville, a marginal city in the French empire prior to the fall of France, became the capital of Afrique Française Libre.

This book analyzes the international imagining of AFL through the simultaneous constructions of virtual and physical Brazzavilles. It also examines how French efforts to reconstruct the city heavily influenced many aspects of daily life within the capital, ranging from food shortages, displacement, the increased policing of African bodies, and the development of multiple avenues of resistance among Africans. Sanchez dramatically re-centers the Second World War by following sources that emphasize the profound value of Brazzaville following the fall of France. Brazzaville is integral to understanding not only France’s progression in the war, but also the repercussions of decades of colonial neglect and forcing Africans to participate in a war effort that emphasized the hypocrisy of colonial rule. Furthermore, the book draws attention to a history of the Second World War in Africa that pushes beyond military recruitment or forced labor and considers the lived experiences of a population that felt the repercussions of this global conflict in their daily lives

Offering a highly original and scholarly contribution to the literature, this book is an important read for uper level students and scholars of colonial history, Francophone Africa and the Second World War.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Considering Space and Race in the Making of Afrique Française Libre

Chapter One: Charles de Gaulle, Giant Gorillas, and "Fantastically Clad Negroes": Imagining a Free France in Brazzaville 

Chapter Two: Robinson Crusoe and the "New Jean of Arc" in Brazzaville: Defining, Modernizing and Living in a European Afrique Française Libre

Chapter Three: "If There is a Place on this Earth to Be Happy, This is Not It": Discipline, Control, and Daily Life Through Numbers in Afrique Française Libre 

Chapter Four: Palm Wine, Whispers, and Wishes: Social Life, Entrepreneurialism, and African Resistance in Wartime Brazzaville

Chapter Five: Rioting through Religion: Faith, Upheaval, and Anti-Colonialism in Wartime Brazzaville

Epilogue: Transnational Brazzaville and Imagining a Free Future

About the Author

Danielle Porter Sanchez is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Muhlenberg College, USA.

About the Series

Global Africa

This series will produce new scholarship on African experiences within the field of global history, globalization, African Diaspora, Atlantic History, etc. It is our goal to publish works that view African ideas from a global perspective and vice versa, thus placing Africa squarely within the framework of globalization, and change the perception of African people vis-a-vis the world, creating an innovative source of new works about Africa and the world.

This new series will serve several important functions. First and foremost, it will create a space for scholars and educators to find resources that aid in the understanding of Africa’s place in the world’s global and regional economic political and intellectual spheres throughout history. Second, our monographs will incorporate African experiences into broader historical theories that have hitherto marginalized Africans within the realm of global history. We aim to provide competing views of Africa’s place in various global systems can be studied in a systemic fashion without resorting to pseudo-historical themes that ultimately harm our understanding of the African past.

Most importantly, we will take up the mantle of African production of knowledge on a global scale, and emphasize how Africans, who have long been marginalized in global intellectual traditions, have shaped the very civilizations that shunned the former’s contributions. The resulting marginalization has resulted in many of the ills that African peoples face today. By redeeming the African place in the global intellectual tradition, we will also help emphasize the African political and economic past in ways that place the continent front and center in the creation of the world we all inhabit. As a result, it will form an innovative platform where scholars put forward new ideas regarding Africa’s role in world affairs that have long been overlooked and underemphasized.

For submissions and enquiries, please contact:

Toyin Falola: [email protected]

Roy Doron: [email protected]

Leanne Hinves: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Africa / General
HISTORY / Africa / Central
HISTORY / Europe / France