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Learning to be Marginal:Schooling in Interwar French West Africa

Learning to be Marginal:Schooling in Interwar French West Africa

Abstract

This essay focuses on the ways in which schools in interwar French West Africa contributed to separating African students from their societies. It analyzes school texts and shows how they prepared students to accept an identity as "blacks" distinct from their uneducated peers who stood outside the boundaries of French society. Students were uncomfortable with these views. They were aware of the differences between themselves and unschooled Africans as well as the French. They envisioned their future on the margins of both societies, living as Europeans by day and Africans by night.
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