Yesterday marked the reopening of terrasses of Paris (and France) following the second phase of déconfinement. We got back from Normandy just in time to have dinner on the terrasse of Le Voltaire, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite spots in Paris. Yesterday I also made the decision to use my voice to speak up about ways to be actively anti-racist. One of those ways is to support black-owned businesses in Paris and France.
Like my return to Paris following the confinement, going to a restaurant felt simultaneously familiar and foreign. Above all it was incredibly exciting. The entire terrasse plus the new annexed addition was filled with familiar faces. Everyone was happy, smiling, and celebrating this major step in the return to normal life.
I had more happy moments during the confinement than I can count, and it’s not lost on me that I’m probably among few who would say that. That’s not to say there weren’t difficult times, but I’m an optimistic, glass half-full kind of person. I have my family to thank for this quality, and always remember this piece, Attitude by Charles Swindoll. During the confinement, it brought me joy to share bits and pieces of life and to provide a small escape for those watching.
I intended on staying silent here and on Instagram in regards to George Floyd’s horrible suffocation, not because I didn’t care, but because I wanted to keep my platform as an escape of sorts. But as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It’s not enough for me to be anti-racist, I must be actively anti-racist and use my voice.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop sharing life in France. Those posts will just be supplemented with resources and ways that I think are helpful for us all to become better global citizens. One of the first things I’ve decided to do is to support black-owned businesses in Paris and France. These are a few that I’ve discovered so far and I will continue to update the list on Instagram.
Black-Owned Businesses in Paris and France
- Girl Meets Glass
- Le Paris Noir
- Black Paris Tours
- My Parisian Life
- Elope in Paris
- Coven Paris
- La Vie Locale
- Nelly Wandji Cabinet des Curiosités
- International Beauty Expert
- Little Africa Paris
- Présence Africaine
- African Prints in Fashion
- Ujuu Media
- Cook’n with Class
- Dame Rebel
- Dr. Valene Gresham
- Madame de la Maison
- Chef Jordan Robinson at Pompette
- Le Tricycle
- Jah Jah by Le Tricycle
I grappled today with even posting about the reopening of terrasses in Paris. It felt so trivial and like such a non-event relative to everything else going on in the world right now. But like I said, I’m a glass half-full kind of person, and I believe in spreading positivity. I’m hopeful that soon the terrasses in Paris won’t just be filled with my neighbors, but by people from all over the world and from all different walks of life.
I hope on a future trip to Paris or France you’ll consider supporting one of these black-owned businesses. As always, I’m here to help connect you if needed.