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Five things to know about Pap Ndiaye

Cool hot topics. This is how Pap Ndiaye defined his mission a year ago when he took over the management of the Museum of Immigration in Paris. This may be his roadmap as the new Minister of National Education, as relations between his predecessor Jean-Michel Blanquer and the teaching staff deteriorated.

The ‘cold hot topics’ could also be inner wisdom in the days to come, as the sudden appointment of this 56-year-old teacher and researcher, a ‘black case’ thinker in France, has already been denounced by the far right. It will disturb an entire section of the right.

From this point of view, Pap Ndiaye is against Blanquer. And the latter could not resist remarking in the form of a warning during the transfer of power, Fridays de Grenelle: “Some want to oppose the republic and the rights of the individual, the fact that each membership in each will be more important than the republic. itself.” He stressed that this was contrary to the republican message, calling his successor to “vigilance”.

Marie’s brother

For a long time, Bab Ndiaye, unknown to the general public, was Marie’s first brother. Marie Ndiaye, a great writer twenty months younger than her, who at eighteen years of age, published her first novel, “Quant au riche avenir” (Editions de Minuit, 1985) and was awarded the Goncourt Prize in 2009 for “Three Strong Women”. The way they spell – differently – the family name inherited from their father, Tidiane Ndiaye, says a lot about them. Mary, the lady of the pen, decided to dispense with the apostrophe and keep the capital letters: “MND, I loved the idea of ​​having three uppercase letters as initials,” she confided to She magazine’s last July in a Cross interview with her brother. The chapter on academic thought first on the classification method on the shelves of the library: “The apostrophe created a problem,” so it would be “Ndiaye.”

Product for the French Republic School…

Bab Ndiaye was born from the love of his Senegalese father, Tidiane, and his French mother, Simone. He is the first road and bridge engineer in sub-Saharan Africa, and she is a professor of natural sciences. He leaves her when Pap is three years old and raises her children in Anthony, in the Parisian suburbs. Quiet middle-class childhood with vacation with maternal grandparents in Boss: “I didn’t have to fit in: I was from here,” says Bab Ndiaye. Brilliant in academic studies: Ecole Normale Supérieure of Saint-Cloud, History Compilation, Ph.D., School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. He also thinks of Ena but he will abandon her after several years of studying in the United States which will change his life.

… and American affirmative action

He didn’t know it until later, but the 1991 scholarship to continue his studies at the University of Virginia was awarded to him in the name of Affirmative Action Policy. “So I am a product of the French Republican school and American affirmative action,” he told Le Monde in 2009. Growing up in the cosmic mold, he discovered America where the origins and color of skin could cause a rare, but also presumed, violent clash. “My time in the United States allowed me to think about the racial question. It was a form of revelation, especially since in France, thirty years ago, the subject was very marginal in the academic world,” he explained to Vanity Fair. When he returned to France in 1998, he majored in US and minority social history.

The thinker of the “black condition” in France

The riots that set fire to the French suburbs in December 2005 are another impetus: we have to think about the “racist” question of a globalist country. “I am not black every moment of my life, it is not an obsession. On the other hand, I remember it regularly in a rather pleasant way.”

His 2008 article “The Black Condition, Essay on a French Minority” is a landmark in the academic world. His co-foundership of the Representative Council of Black Societies (CRAN) in 2005 and his positions in favor of racial statistics are controversial. “Indigenous,” the Republicans moved on. Bounty, a “white nigger” insults him from positions close to Dieudonné who decries his drift to the far right too soon.

In 2018, he was amazed when he described the deletion of the word “race” from our constitution as a “regression”: “Although the idea of ​​race has been completely invalidated from a scientific point of view, it still exists as a powerful imaginary category that influences the organization of society,” he explained. , out of fear that this ‘beautiful philosophical gesture’ has ‘negative effects’ on the fight against racism.

“Wonderful than waking up”

What is Pap Ndiaye’s thought? Transferred in France to the “wake-up” culture denounced by Jean-Michel Blanquer and strong at the Paris Institute of Political Science, where he directed the history department from 2014 to 2017? I share most of their reasons, but I do not agree with the moral or sectarian rhetoric of some of them. “Im, magazine,” said he, “more cold than waking up.”

Or is it a desire to write the history of France without erasing the painful manifestations associated with colonialism and then immigration? He declared in Quotidien on March 11, 2021 “There is still much to be done to learn about the imperial dimension of our history. This does not mean repentance, but rather a better understanding and ensuring that young people recognize themselves in the history they have been told, that they connect their family history with history.” The great.”

Great debates in perspective The new Minister of Education might try to appease by quoting Aimee Césaire: “One can relate to a culture without detaching from the cosmopolitan.”

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