Toni Morrison Society Discovers Paris!

Discover Paris! provides commentary on key sites relevant to African / Diaspora history in the French capital during a three-hour bus tour as part of the Toni Morrison Society's Paris conference.
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Toni Morrison Society
Discover Paris!
Entrée To Black Paris™
Josephine Baker
Beauford Delaney
Black Paris


Paris - Ile de France - France

Nov. 9, 2010 - PRLog -- The Toni Morrison Society held its sixth biennial conference in Paris, France from November 4-7.  Called Toni Morrison and Circuits of the Imagination, it was the first conference that the group has hosted outside the United States.  Highlights of the event were the induction of Toni Morrison as an Officer of the Legion of Honor; her receipt of the City of Paris “Medaille de Grand Vermeil”; the 40th anniversary celebration of the publication of Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye; and the dedication of a bench at a site of commemoration of the abolition of slavery in France’s colonies in Paris’ 20th arrondissement.  

Part of the four-day conference included a “traveling session” called “Black Paris and Sites of ‘Rememory’ Tour.”  During this three-hour bus tour of the French capital, Monique Y. Wells, co-founder of the travel planning service Discover Paris!, provided commentary on key sites relevant to African / Diaspora history in the French capital to approximately one-third of the conference attendees.  Wells not only reminded participants of events such as the 1956 Congress of Negro Writers and Artists held at the Sorbonne, but also regaled her group with little-known facts about African-American personalities who lived in Paris during the 20th century.  In particular, the story of painter Beauford Delaney, his friendship with writer James Baldwin, and the creation of the French non-profit association Les Amis de Beauford Delaney ( struck a chord with the group.

Though it rained for much of the tour, the skies cleared sufficiently to allow the group to leave the bus to take photos at Place Josephine Baker.  Afterward, Wells relayed the story of Baker’s last performance run in Paris, which took place at the nearby Bobino Theater, and the inauguration of the square.

Wells is the creator of Discover Paris!’ Entrée to Black Paris™ tours and activities (  Discover Paris! has provided these private, Afro-centric walking tours, self-guided itineraries, museum visits, and excursions since 2000.  While the tours and itineraries originally focused on the history of the African-American Diaspora in Paris, the company has recently shifted that focus to increase awareness of the contribution of all African Diaspora peoples to the richness and diversity of contemporary life in the French capital.

When asked about Discover Paris!’ participation in this historic conference, Wells said, “It is an honor and a privilege to contribute to this historic event in support of Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison and the Toni Morrison Society.  Discover Paris! has worked with conference organizer Professor Janis Mayes on her Paris Noir summer study abroad program since its inception in 2001, and we are very pleased that she selected us to be a part of the conference program!”

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Discover Paris! has provided personalized itinerary planning and private, guided tours--including Afrocentric walking tours and activities--since 1999. Co-founder Monique Y. Wells is the author of the company's Entrée to Black Paris™ blog (

Discover Paris! published Paris Insights - An Anthology: a collection of lively anecdotes that is the written culmination of one American’s passion for Paris. It also publishes the Paris Insights newsletter and the Paris Insights restaurant review.
Source:Discover Paris!
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Tags:Toni Morrison Society, Discover Paris!, Entrée To Black Paris™, Josephine Baker, Beauford Delaney, Black Paris
Industry:Event, Travel, Tourism
Location:Paris - Ile de France - France
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