Arcānum | Paris Insolite & Secret | Histoires sur les Mystères de Paris


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The first mayor of Paris was black

18th Feb '17

Severiano de Heredia was the son of freed cuban slaves, and was elected president of the Municipal Council of Paris in 1879 , a job equivalent to that of the mayor. Cousin of the poet José Maria de Heredia, this Freemason embodied at the time the modernity and the evolution of the contemporary thought. He was also a fervent defender of the free press and supported the effort of the industrial revolution. Some believe that the colonialist trends led Heredia to hispolitical end, as long as the town leaders tried to justify the African conquests, which seemed very contradictory regarding the color of his skin… The fatal blow for the black mayor was the colonial exhibition of 1886 in Paris, where several indigenous populations were exposed like animals. He retired from political life in 1893 and died on February 9, 1901 in his parisian apartment, almost as an anonymous person.

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