Just nearby my old apartment on Rue Mouffetard is the preserved storefront of Au Nègre Joyeux, the name of a chocolate factory that once existed at 14, Rue Mouffetard. It’s truly hard to say what is more offensive: the use of the word negro in a company name, the fact that it was a chocolate factory (or some say, coffee), that it’s been deemed worthy of preservation, or the elaborate painting of the smiling (black) servant/slave eagerly serving the (white) lady of the house. I previously wrote about how it is illegal for the French state to collect census information on ethnicity and other related issues here, and with the subsequent passage of the burqa ban, it is clear that the concepts of minority and discrimination is very different in Europe than in the United States.
Here’s a closeup of the painting:
Here’s what the building looks like now (in a popular roundabout of cafés and restaurants:
In the early 20th century, this was the location of a popular music club and is now, ironically, a supermarket run by minorities. If anybody has more tidbits on this sign or building, let me know!
How to Get There:
14, Rue Mouffetard, 5th arrondisement
Metro: M7 to Place Monge