Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo gives a speech at the inauguration of the Jardin Solitude in Paris, 26 September

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picture captionMayor Hidalgo opened the Solitude Backyard on Saturday

Paris is to place up a statue of a black girl concerned in a 1802 rise up towards slavery on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

The lady, named solely Solitude, was captured and probably executed.

Opening a public backyard in her honour on Saturday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo referred to as Solitude a “heroine” and a “robust image”.

France’s historical past of slavery has been below new scrutiny, partly due to the US Black Lives Matter protests.

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There was soul-searching over public commemoration of colonial figures resembling Seventeenth-Century statesman Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who codified abroad slavery and is remembered by a statue outdoors the nationwide parliament in Paris.

However President Emmanuel Macron has spoken towards eradicating statues or names of controversial figures, providing as an alternative a “clear-headed have a look at our historical past and our reminiscence”.

Who was Solitude?

Little or no is understood for positive, with just one brief written mention in a Nineteenth-Century historical past of Guadeloupe, in keeping with Unesco.

That account information that Solitude, a mixed-race girl, was arrested amongst “a band of insurgents” throughout an rebellion towards slavery – which had been reinstated by Napoleon after being abolished through the French Revolution.

She was sentenced to dying, the historical past notes, however allowed to provide start earlier than being “tortured” – an ambiguous time period which might imply she was certainly put to dying, by flogging for instance.

Solitude was portrayed in a 1972 work of fiction by French author André Schwarz-Bart and a statue already honours her in Les Abymes, Guadeloupe.

The Solitude Backyard is situated on Place du Général Catroux in north-western Paris, the place a statue will probably be erected in time.

Whereas a statue of a black girl could be uncommon within the French capital, it might not be unprecedented. The US entertainer and French Resistance agent Josephine Baker (1906-75) has been honoured by both a square and a monument.

Associated Subjects

  • Racism

  • France
  • Paris
  • Slavery
  • Guadeloupe
  • Black Lives Matter