"This struck me" : Laurent Voulzy confides in the racism he suffered as a child

Artist recognized and appreciated by the French by several generations, Laurent Voulzy experienced racism in his childhood and adolescence on which he confided on June 19.

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The generations change and the word is released around the racism suffered by many French people. In January, the documentary Blacks in France in particular allowed many personalities to testify to the discrimination experienced during their lives because of their skin color. And the stories about it are not limited to this large format. Other personalities regularly report inappropriate words that they have had to face or have to face and that mark their lives in a certain way. So this was the case this Sunday, in the show Off road, presented by Thomas Sotto on France Inter. In this episodeit is the very popular Laurent Voulzy which was in the studios of the Maison de la Radio.


During this episode broadcast this Sunday, June 19, the singer, in the hearts of the French for nearly forty years and inseparable accomplice of Alain Souchon, took advantage of this long-term interview to, too, evoke the racism of which he had been a victim younger. Originally from Guadeloupe, it was only at the age of 35 that he discovered the lands of his ancestors. With his parents, he grew up in the Paris region. But that’s where he will experience discrimination and the fear of being seen for his color only. “As a different being, you suffer jeers”, he often said in interviews.

“Marked” by racist reflections

This Sunday, Laurent Voulzy clarified and talks about his childhood then adolescence spent in Nogent-sur-Marne. “I could be a little bit of a gang leader and at the same time I was very shy. complexed by my color. I was sensitive to that. I had people throwing jokes at me.” How did this racism translate in practice? It was not daily. He was from time to time in people’s eyes. A neighbor in my building when I took out the garbage cans, I was ten years old, he said: ‘Hey, there are niggers taking out their garbage cans’, it wasn’t very nice. All of this marked me. I didn’t dare at all, even as a teenager, sit in the subway so that no one says ‘he’s not white, he takes the place of the whites’. I was at that point.”

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