Decolonizing High-school Education in Martinique

Published

Article published in The Funambulist 26 (November-December 2019) Kids of the World, Unite! Click here to access the rest of the issue.

Martinique! Small island of the Caribbean located between Saint Lucia and Dominica. Martinique, with endless sandy beaches, coconuts, bananas, and sexy Black — but not too Black — men and women. Its cocktails, its ti-punch and its rum! Its rum! Internationally recognized, bringing lots of money to the descendants of slave owners — oh yeah, I should not mention that.

So what was I saying again? Yes! Did you know that in addition to having alcohol, docile Blacks, and white-sanded beaches, Martinique is one of those wonderful places where French is the main language? Which makes me realize that I did not introduce myself. My name is Alexane and I’m French. I was born in the French region of Martinique, 8,000 kilometers from Paris, the capital of my country. I have never known a winter or a fall except when I went to the United States a year ago. I have a French passport, which allows me to live wherever I want in the European Union. Oh yes, I am also European — although some of my compatriots think that I am anti-European racist, or am I?

It does not make much sense to you? In fact, it is very simple. During decolonization, France wanted to keep Martinicans near her. Out of love for niggas. You don’t believe me? You conspiracy theorist! So now, we are French. Most Martinican people are very happy about that fact. I too was, until two years ago. Now, I belong to the 1% of people who want independence for Martinique; these crazy people who want independence. Who would like that? Long live dependence! It doesn’t sound good, I know right?

I did not go straight from believing I was French to being an independentist — and one that’s proud of their Africaness! — just as I did not become an activist overnight. As you can imagine, this has been a loooong and funny journey. For instance, I’ve wondered if wanting to be free meant that I hated white people.

So let me introduce myself for the second time: I’m Alexane, I’m Martinican, I’m mixed. And this is my story.