"Oran was a beautiful city I often hear people say. I sometimes get confused between my recollections of life there, and those etched in my mind by others who shared that space and time with me."
Roi, P.M: Black Feet, Gauchos, and Cowboys. PNIA Publishing, 2019.
The tale of a young pied-noir’s coming of age in America.
KEEPING THE MEMORY ALIVE
In 1954, the year of my birth, there were nearly one million pieds-noirs, as those individuals of European descent born on Algerian soil were called. During and after the Algerian War of Independence, the pieds-noirs scattered in all directions. Most elected to make the short journey across the Mediterranean and permanently relocate to mainland France. A smattering ultimately made their way to more distant lands, including the United States of America. Armed only with the instinct to survive, intensified by years of anguish, uncertainty, and turmoil, they triumphed against overwhelming odds and achieved a greater degree of success than they
would otherwise had life not been derailed by the madness which had besieged them. I count myself among them.
How many pieds-noirs remain is unknown, but what is certain is that we pieds-noirs live with the realization that we are a species destined for extinction. After the passing of my generation, there will be no one left who will have the honor and privilege of bearing the pied-noir insignia. For only those of European ancestry, born on Algerian soil before Algerian independence, can claim this inalienable right. The pied-noir esprit de corps is not genetically transmitted, nor can it be inherited. It cannot be learned or imitated. It is a state of mind, a state of being, shaped by the confluence of fate and experience.
This website is dedicated to keeping the memory of pieds-noirs alive for generations to come. Please share any pied-noir-related or inspired remembrances, photographs, videos, publications, recipes, songs, etc. You may wish to bestow accolades or pay tribute to family and friends. Some of you may ultimately reconnect with long-lost acquaintances.
Any suggestions on how to improve the website are welcomed.