Prêt-À-Poundo: A Mixed-Raced Miss France 2014, So What?

The mixed-raced winner of Miss France 2014 Florence Coquerel has brought up continuing issues of race and national identity in modern France.

Late last year, Flora Coquerel, a beautiful half-French, half-Beninese 19-year-old, was crowned Miss France 2014 in Dijon. An international business student, Coquerel conquered French people's hearts with her words — she stated a desire to represent a cosmopolite, modern France claiming that "today's France is a mixed France, where there is every culture, and I think a lot of people will see themselves in me".

Coquerel's statement came at an important time, after the country's latest racist incidents targeting French Minister of Justice Christine Taubira. Recent moves against Taubira include a far right politician comparing her to a monkey because of her skin tone. The events forced the United Nations to take action with Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, stating "This utterly unacceptable abuse of a prominent politician, on the basis of her color, is a stark manifestation of the rising racism, xenophobia and intolerance aimed at members of ethnic and religious minorities – as well as migrants – in many European countries." (France 24)

Last year Louis-Georges Tin, the president of CRAN (Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires de France) noted the lack of black beauty contestants in the run for Miss France stating "The failure to represent the contemporary French population in an event such as this is obviously serious. It amounts to denying the very existence of French people of African origin." Many people expressed displeasure against the lack of Muslim contestants, as there as more than 6 million Muslims currently living in France.

Meanwhile, other crowds refused to see the new Miss France as a French citizen entirely due to her race. But if French citizens voted for her, it's because Coquerel is an accurate reflection of a mixed nation. Unfortunately, many social media users spread vile comments about her election. Some of the comments are truly offensive and leave us wondering where the boundaries lie in what can be published on social media. Despite free speech, should we allow hateful behavior on these channels? Here are some of the tweets, several of which draw from the same bigoted reasoning behind the attacks on Christiane Taubira:

"I am sure that Miss France is celebrating her victory at the zoo with all her family" @MikeAssouline

"The mixed race is the cancer of the white race" @tdechampagn

"Why do we always have to have a Black Miss France? Aren't there enough in France's soccer team and enough similar to Taubira?" @John_Doe_1001

"Miss France should thank Taubira. They elected a "Miss Black" to improve the image of France following the controversy" @Vaskk

We can't tell you how to act or think but we can denounce a grave mentality that disrupts the national environment and damages a country's society. As a new year dawns, it's time for a change — boycott the haters on social media or otherwise and highlight the lovers who are spreading a positive message. Just saying. If you want to talk about it, tweet @okayafrica with #missfrance2014.


Photo by Timothy Norris/Getty Images

Wizkid, Tems, Black Coffee & More Nominated For 2022 Grammy Awards

See the full list of African artists honored during Tuesday's nomination ceremony.

Next year's Grammy nominations are in and Africa showed up and out!

The 64th annual Grammy music awards are on the horizon, and Tuesday's nomination ceremony covered a lot of ground within the music industry. Not surprisingly, Wizkid's Made In Lagos (Deluxe) received a nod for Best Global Music album, with the stellar and globally adorned track "Essence" featuring Nigeria's Tems being nominated for Best Global Music Performance. Nigerian favorites Femi and Made Kuti's joint project Legacy+ received a nomination under the Best Global Music Album category.

Other notable nods include; Beninese singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo's collaboration with Nigerian powerhouse Burna Boy, as well her performance with American cellist Yo-Yo Ma received under the Global Music Performance category. South Africa's Black Coffee's album Subconsciously made its mark within the Best Dance/Electronic Music Album category with his own nomination, and Ghanaian artist Rocky Dawuni under Best Global Music Album.

The music ceremony will be hosted in Los Angeles, US on January 31 2022 and we're excited to see who snags the highly coveted awards during next year's ceremony. In the meantime, let us know on Twitter who you're excited to see perform.

Keep scrolling to see the full list of African artists nominated for next year's Grammy award ceremony.

Check out the full list of nominees here.

Best Global Music Performance

"Mohabbat," Arooj Aftab

"Do Yourself," Angelique Kidjo and Burna Boy

"Pà Pá Pà," Femi Kuti

"Blewu," Yo-Yo Ma and Angelique Kidjo

"Essence," Wizkid featuring Tems

Best Global Music Album

"Voice Of Bunbon, Vol. 1," Rocky Dawuni

"East West Players Presents: Daniel Ho and Friends Live in Concert," Daniel Ho and Friends

"Mother Nature," Angelique Kidjo

"Legacy +," Femi Kuti and Made Kuti

"Made In Lagos: Deluxe Edition," Wizkid

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album

"Subconsciously," Black Coffee

"Fallen Embers," Illenium

"Music Is the Weapon (Reloaded)," Major Lazer

"Shockwave," Marshmello

"Free Love," Sylvan Esso

"Judgement," Ten City

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