Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Many struggles, one movement

Monthly Archives: July 2013

Blacks in Tunisia: ADAM and the Struggle for Recognition and Justice

Erin Byrd, Black Workers for Justice

No there is no racism in Tunis. If they tell you there is they are lying. I have friends that are black, and they don’t mind when I call them n*gger”.  This is a quote from an actual conversation I had with a Tunisian reporter at the World Social Forum. It occurred after leaving the session on Blacks in Tunisia at the forum, in the context of an interview he requested. I asked him about how blacks are treated in Tunisia. And received this stunning response.

I was told before I left to go to Africa that Tunisia would be a different experience than visiting the south or west Africa. But, even after being warned, I wasn’t really ready. I expected a sea of Blacks in Tunisia, but instead I saw only a few. Tunisia is a majority Arab country.

The WSF was held just four days after Tunisia’s first celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, an event to raise awareness about discrimination against racial minorities in the country organized by the Association for Equality and Development (ADAM).  ADAM is the first organization in the country to fight for the rights of Black Tunisians. It was formed in May 2012 as an outgrowth of Tunisia’s recent revolutionary transformation. Read more of this post