Our students have many opportunities to speak and hear French with their family and friends, through social media, online news and movies they watch on Youtube. It is more challenging to access books French and we try and create those opportunities throughout the year. This year, we picked Lilian Thuram’s “mes Etoiles Noires” during Black History Month; the student picked a chapter, each of them focusing on a black historical figure and made a presentation to their peers: from the liberator of Haiti Toussaint Louverture to the writer from Martinique Aimé Césaire, from civil rights champion Martin Luther King to NASA scientist Cheikh Modibo Diarra, from french classical musician the Chevalier de Saint Georges to the authors of the Manden charter from the Mali Empire, one of the first document to encapsulate any human rights.
This Fall, we are looking forward to participating in the ‘Rendez vous Littéraires” organized by the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques. As part of this program, French-language writers have the opportunity to discuss their literary works with students, online. This program aims to promote exchanges in French between Francophone authors and students. Some of our students in New York City and also in our regional program in Everett, Mass, have started reading “Alexis d’Haiti”, the story of a young Haitian boy and his journey to the US, by Marie Célie Agnant.