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Rencontre avec Thomas Chatterton Williams autour de son livre «Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race» (2019)

Publié par Marion Coste le 24/06/2021

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Des élèves de première et terminale du lycée Blaise Pascal à Charbonnières-les-Bains ont rencontré l'auteur Thomas Chatterton Williams dans le cadre du Littérature Live Festival de la Villa Gillet. Des groupes qui suivent l'enseignement de spécialité LLCER anglais et LLCER anglais monde contemporain, ainsi que des groupes de la section européenne anglais, ont pu échanger avec l'auteur autour de son livre ((Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race)), paru en 2019.

Montage photo des élèves du lycée Blaise Pascal (Charbonnières-les-Bains)

Montage photo des élèves du lycée Blaise Pascal (Charbonnières-les-Bains)

1) Toni Morrison wrote The Bluest Eye; Amanda Gorman, who prones “diversity and unity with purpose”, said she became aware of who she really was when she read The Bluest Eye. Did you think about this book when your daughter was born? And do you agree with Amanda Gorman?


2) What was the reaction of your relatives to the release of your book, given that they occupy an important place in it?


3) Did you sometimes wish you had a darker skin tone?


4) You said "the boxes we sort ourselves into are not and have never been real". Do you mean we are responsible for the discrimination we may suffer from? 


5) Similarly, you say "as long as black people can be so easily triggered and provoked, we’ll never be equal or free"? Don’t you think this statement might trigger violent reactions?


6) In what respect did your French experience influence the evolution of your thinking?


7) You often refer to Albert Camus and the idea that individuals are free of their choices and therefore masters of their destinies. Do you then object to social determinism?  


8) Langston Hughes wrote “I too sing America”; you wrote “I too was retiring from race – stepping out from that cruel and cold game”. Do you sing America as well?


9) Several musicians, singers, poets are mentioned in your book. Is music a source of inspiration? Could it be part of the solution? (and what music do you listen to?)


10) Do you think your book has been / will be an eye-opener?


11) If you were to sum up your book for young children, what would you say? 


12) While visiting your wife’s grandmother, 2 years after your wedding, your father told you “Son, don’t lose yourself” (p15). What would you say to him today?


13) Can you tell us about your future projects and productions?


14) If someone called you a "gringo" today, what would you say?


15) Can you explain to us how you write?


16) Do you think that somehow intolerance towards the other and incomprehension toward the stranger are imprinted in human nature?


17) What do you think your children will think of your book when they are able to read it?


18) Have you recently read a book that struck you?



Pour citer cette ressource :

"Rencontre avec Thomas Chatterton Williams autour de son livre «Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race» (2019)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2021. Consulté le 16/07/2024. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/rencontre-avec-thomas-chatterton-williams