On February 11, 2016, in Professor Jones’ ASTEP English 100 and 110 classes, Ricki Stevenson, founder, guide and CEO of Black Paris Tours, facilitated a wonderful presentation about her world famous Black Paris Tours. Ricki Stevenson is a former TV news anchor/reporter and talk show host, who holds a Master’s Degree in History with an emphasis on African and African American History from Stanford University.
Ricki Stevenson’s discussion focused on the vibrantly elaborate, global histories and experiences of men and women of African descent, who have made a significant impact on the lives of Americans and Parisians alike. Ms. Stevenson’s special guest, her daughter, Dede Stevenson-Bailey engaged the ASTEP students by speaking in both French and English, while enthralling them with amazing stories about the legacies of African Americans such as James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Bessie Coleman, Ida B Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois and Josephine Baker, to name a few, who have either visited, performed, stayed for extended periods of time, and/or lived in Paris, France contributing to the social, political, artistic, and cultural development of the western world.
Ms. Stevenson’s presentation was deliberately designed to expose the ASTEP students to the importance of knowing and understanding their history, discussing the significance of education and traveling, while at the same time demonstrating how many of the historic individuals from her Black Paris Tours are reflected in Professor Jones’ English courses and the influence these African Americans currently have on society today. Ricki Stevenson is also a native of Oakland, California.
Article by Nathan Jones