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Kiratiana's Travel Guide to Black Paris: Get Lost and Get Found Perfect Paperback – May 3, 2010
Top Customer Reviews
Kiratiana goes beyond the travel basics and includes great historical and cultural context for the trip. From recommended pre-trip reading and films to what a traveler should expect to see on-site in the black French neighborhoods (KFC/Beauty Supply Store, anyone?), the author prepares you for the myriad experiences that Paris has to offer.
I don't read travel guides cover-to-cover; however, this guide does lend itself to a deeper reading with its historical inserts on subjects such as Negritude, Saartjie Baartman, Slavery Remembrance Day and the Jazz Age. I find myself flipping to random pages and sections, only to get lost in the Paris of Langston Hughes, Chester Himes, James Baldwin, Josephine Baker and Bricktop. Kiratiana gives us the key to the City of Light - places to find affordable lodging, splendid dining, unique cultural experiences and always adds her personal touch, recounting her own experiences in first-person voice (I won't forget how she was rebuffed at two hip-and-happening nightclubs in one evening!).
The book reads like a friend recounting her travels with you, making her recommendations and giving you great tips for your own journey through Black Paris.
This is where I feel that the guide is a bit weak. Too often "black" becomes African American, and the guide is reduced to a list of who slept or performed where. Although there are some wonderful sections on African and Caribbean history and food, I didn't get a sense of what homebred black Parisian culture really is all about. In addition, it's difficult to have faith in a few reviews about places she's never been to. In her attempt to be thorough, Kiratiana becomes a secondary source that might not be all that reliable. Points for originality though. Kiratiana is a true entrepreneur, having the sense and wherewithal to meet the growing demand of black women for travel resources. I'm looking forward to using her guide to Paris and reading the others as they come out.