Gospel Dream at the American Cathedral in Paris, France
As violence spread across France, voices soared high above Paris. Last night, fires burned from the banlieu to Belgium while voices that could only have come from heaven above shook the American Cathedral to its very foundation, all coming together to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
In response to the hurricanes and the profound desire to help, American not-for-profit groups in Paris joined together to present a "Southern Musical Review" of Gospel, Jazz, Soul and other music from the region. From the Dixieland marching band to the angelic voice of Parisian opera star Adèle Belmont to the earth shaking Gospel Dream, 22,000 euros in ticket sales and donations were raised to provide relief directly to the hurricane victims!
Just as the US hurricanes threw open the doors on our profound racial divide, France has been experiencing its own racial storm, ignited by a neglected, ostracized, disenfranchised strata of the population that decided to be heard – loud and clear. Unemployment is rampant and even the educated can’t find work because of social prejudices. This also clearly illustrates one of the reasons (besides those pesky, elusive WMD) that Chirac wouldn’t join the US in the war against Iraq.
Some articles that outline the situation much more clearly than I ever could are listed below. Thank you for your kind emails of concern. I don’t have a TV and after seeing what is shown on US “news”, I highly recommend it!
Behind the Furor, the Last Moments of Two Youths
By Thomas Crampton ~ New York Times: November 7, 2005
CLICHY-SOUS-BOIS, France, Nov. 6 - In life, they were uncelebrated. In death, Zyed Benna, 17, and Bouna Traore, 15, have inspired more than 10 days of riots that have spread from housing projects in the suburbs of Paris to cities and towns across France....
10 Officers Shot as Riots Worsen in French Cities
By Craig S. Smith ~ New York Times: November 7, 2005
PARIS, Monday, Nov. 7 - Rioters fired shotguns at the police in a working-class suburb of Paris on Sunday, wounding 10 officers as the country's fast-spreading urban unrest escalated dangerously. Just hours earlier, President Jacques Chirac called an emergency meeting of top security officials and promised increased police pressure to confront the violence...
French Officials Try to Ease Fear as Crisis Swells
By Mark Landler and Craig S. Smith ~ New York Times: November 8, 2005
PARIS, Nov. 7 - The civil unrest sweeping France spread to nearly every major city in the country by Monday, claiming its first death, and even touched two cities elsewhere in Europe as the French government sought to reassure a jittery nation that it can quickly bring the escalating situation under control....