the forgotten history of the “half-breeds” of the colonies

During colonial times in French West Africa, several thousand children were abandoned from the relationships between settlers and African women by their father and brought from their mother. In Abidjan in Ivory Coast, they were placed in Bingerville Méti’s home. Today, these “children of France” require official recognition of their rights.

These “half-breeds” of the colonies, all born before independence, are separated from the rest of society. This decision was made in 1903 by the governor of French West Africa. Every major city in the empire must then welcome them and give them a living space. In Ivory Coast, they were placed in the Foyer des métis de Bingerville, a building that served as the governor’s residence before being abandoned when the capital was transferred to Abidjan.

Long considered a taboo subject, some of them never wanted to deal with this part of their personal history. Through many unpublished testimonies, France24 traces the forgotten history of these “nations”.