Black Montmartre during the 1920´s

Christine Gudin du Pavillon
Mémoire de Maîtrise Octobre 2004
Université Paris-Sorbonne (ParisIV)

In Paris, Montmartre, an African-American society settled during the 1920´s, in order to live a free life without racism. They heard about the experience and success of the "Harlem Hellfighters", a band of soldier-musicians who fought against the Germans with the French army during World War I, directed by James Reese Europe, the one who brought African-American rythms to France.

Parisians discovered and admired a community with an exotic culture including art, literature, dance, music and mostly Jazz music. African-Americans brought the "Harlem Renaissance" movement and lived in Montmartre as if they were in Harlem, New York.

Paris became one of the capital of Jazz and Montmartre was, during a decade, a place where glamour and Jazz music were present, thanks to performances and culture of African-American accepted by French citizens. However, this "Golden Era" lasted until the beginning of World War II but, until today, Paris has kept its reputation as one of the foreign capital of Jazz.

In this site, you will be able to know who were the personalities of the "Harlem Renaissance", as well as the Black Stars of Montmartre and, thanks to a map, you will take a look at the 1920´s American nightclubs of Montmartre.

Maps and Clubs of Montmartre

Jazz Sheet Music in Paris

Stars of Montmartre

Harlem Renaissance Personalities


Contact us