It was one of the real surprises of the Elisabeth Borne government that opened on Friday May 20: Pap Ndiaye was appointed Minister of National Education to replace Jean-Michel Blanquer. Little is known to most, this normalien only recently introduced himself when he was inducted into the National Museum of the History of Immigration. A professor for many years at Sciences-Po Paris, he was valued by his peers and considered a “shoe size” on minority issues.
Brother of Marie Ndiaye, Goncourt Prize-winning writer
Born on October 25, 1965 in Antony (Hauts-de-Seine) to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Pap Ndiaye is the brother of writer Marie NDiaye, Goncourt Prize in 2009. He was named Knight of the Legion of Honor in January 2021.
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A former student at the École Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, a history graduate and holding a doctorate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Pap Ndiaye studied in the United States from 1991 to 1996. and known to the general public by publishing in 2008 “the Black Condition. Essay on a French minority”, his reference work.
In 2019, always with a desire to present his subjects of study, he became a scientist advisor to the exhibition “Le Modèle noir”, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, on the representation of blacks in the visual arts. Most recently, he co-presented in 2020 a report on the diversity of Paris Opera.
Director of the Immigration Museum
Appointed head of the French National Museum of the History of Immigration in March 2021, he declared his appointment a symbol of youth. “not white”although he was “first two” in his work as a historian and in his “long career in academia”. “I think of myself as the color of my skin”he added.
Pap Ndiaye sees himself as a peacemaker by doing “a museum for everyone”, with large popular exhibitions on immigrants, colonization, surroundings. “I have a civic role to play, he committed to “The World” in June 2021. It is important to preserve universalism and ensure that it is valid for all. »
Very different line from Blanquer
“In everything related to minorities, he incorporates orientations that are definitely not what Jean-Michel Blanquer has implemented”, analyzes sociologist Michel Wieviorka. Recognized as a supporter of consensus, his personality could be an asset to foster reconciliation in the world of teaching, very critical of his predecessor Rue de Valois. “He’s a diplomat in his way of dealing with others. It’s good because it’s a ministry that needs diplomacy.”, says historian Pascal Blanchard. For Louis-Georges Tin, former president of the Representative Council of Black Associations (CRAN), of which Pap Ndiaye is vice president of the science council, it is also “someone who was able to relieve stress”WHO “builds consensus from above” and [qui est] “tahod”.
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Waiting in the corner
For Snes-FSU, the leading union of secondary school teachers, “Pap Ndiaye’s appointment is a break with Jean-Michel Blanquer in more ways than one”. but “National Education is not ruled only by symbols”he warned in a press release.
“I was stunned by this news. To me Pap Ndiaye was never there. What is certain is that National Education must be “unblocked”, LFI deputy Alexis Corbière reacted to AFP. but “This media stunt, the only one from this dull government, cannot contain the deep anger of National Education”he believed.
His teaching, moreover, makes the far right leap:
Pap Ndiaye is clear: he hates “Controversy for controversy”. That is why Frédérique Vidal criticized in February 2021 the presence of “Islamo-leftism” in the universityhe decided to answer: “This term of Islam-leftism does not point to any university reality. What frightens me most of all is the level of ignorance in the political world of research conducted by the university on the social sciences and the humanities.as he said of France-Inter.
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In 2008, in his book “The Black Condition”, Pap Ndiaye evoked a “abyssal historiographical differences” between the United States and France, where the history of slavery is not the subject of a “reappropriation from below”. “He was also lucky to be able to move us between different cultures”, United States, Africa and France, according to sociologist Michel Wiewordka. Pap Ndiay believes that “Despite coercive requests from foreign departments did not succeed in the evaluation “. In contrast to the removal of statues that evoked slavery in the past, he explained: “It must be recognized that slavery, this crime against humanity, cannot be reversed. But we have a collective duty to repair contemporary societies, which have been plagued by inequalities and injustices that stem in large part from slavery. »
Pap Ndiaye on slavery: “There is a lot of ignorance and denial”
Opposing the removal of the word “different” from the Constitution
A symbolic but dangerous vote “to weaken the fight against racism”, Pap Ndiaye means “World”. On July 12, 2018, French MPs voted to remove the word “different” from the Constitution. Section 1er henceforth set to be France “ensures equality before the law of all citizens regardless of sex, origin or religion” instead of “no difference of origin, race or religion”. A false good idea for the researcher: “Even if the intention is commendable, the elimination of ‘diversity’ in the social sciences or the Constitution will not eliminate discrimination based on it”he means “World”. “Even if it is clear that the“ race ”does not exist from a biological point of view, it is clear that it has not lost its mentality: it has survived as an imaginary category established by history, with powerful social effects. »