How Much More French Can I Be?

PATRICK ROBERT for TIME

GRIM VIEW: Young men in the suburbs face prospects as bleak as their surroundings

People like me — the descendants of immigrants, whether Arab, black or Asian — are turning to our roots and embracing our heritage, just the opposite of what our parents did when they arrived. My grandparents, for example, who came to France from Algeria to live, work and build a better life, accepted the role of guest. They did all they could not just to fit in, but to become invisible. Calling attention to themselves usually meant trouble — endless ID and visa checks from police, racist remarks and insults — so they avoided that. They tried as much as possible...

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