Part 2 




This 3-episode sequel plunges viewers into the fervour and fury of the Roaring 20s through the lens of the reinvented lives of Josephine Baker, musician Sidney Bechet, poet Langston Hughes and fellow Harlem Renaissance and Diaspora writers.


Producer Joanne Burke digs deep and reveals new insights into the lives, work and influence of these artists. Little known when they arrived, Baker and Bechet would become cultural idols to the French, while young writers Hughes, Claude McKay and others formed close bonds with key African and Caribbean intellectuals in Paris and became catalyst to a cross fertilization of Diaspora writers.


JOSEPHINE BAKER:  A MOST EXTRAORDINARY LIFE. The 'Black Venus' made much of her opportunities. She headlined major music halls, starred in movies, produced records and Josephine-related products, to tremendous financial success and all controlled by her. During WWII, she also played an important role in the Free French Résistance movement and became a decorated war hero.


SIDNEY BECHET: THE WIZARD OF JAZZ.  A towering figure in the history of jazz, Sidney Bechet stands on a level with Louis Armstrong. In France, his career survived early controversy and he went on to be loved by critics and fans, and appreciated as a  mentor to upcoming musicians. A golden decade in France locked down his musical legacy.


BLACK WRITERS ACROSS THE ATLANTIC.  In the 1920s and 30s, Paris provided a breather from racism for Harlem Renaissance writers, male and female. Here Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Claude McKay learned what it meant to be Black globally  when they met with influential Afro-French intellectuals for stimulating Diasporic exchanges on racism, colonialism and the budding Negritude movement. 



Each story is filled with rare and astounding archival images. Insightful narration by Joanne Burke binds each stand-alone piece with great storytelling.


No other documentary assembles this vital period of the African-American experience abroad into one unit. Archives around the world were scoured to unearth the wealth of rare images.


The short length of each piece makes them ideal for integrating into a wide range of course curriculum: history, education, African American studies, French Studies American Studies and Literary Studies. They are accessible for all ages, and an enjoyable, educational document that highlights some of the proudest moments of Black heritage.


The illustrious specialists appearing in the films are: 

Richard Powell, Tyler Stovall, Terri Francis, and Bennetta Jules-Rosette for Josephine Baker;

Rashida Braggs, Sebastien Vidal, Archie Shepp, and Robert O’Meally for Sidney Bechet;

Brent Hayes Edwards, Jennifer Wilks, Mamadou Diouf, Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, Jake Lamar, and Tyler Stovall for Langston Hughes and the writers.  


The films run 12 to 15 minutes each.



This film series is a Blue Lion Films, Inc. release in partnership with Julia Browne of  Walking the Spirit Tours.

Orders can be made on this site. If you wish to order more than 5 copies please email: info@AfricanAmericansinParis.com

© Blue Lion Films, Inc., 2014.       No part of this work may be copied or reproduced without permission.​