Jacqueline Ngo Mpii’s “Little Africa” walking tour of Goutte d’Or highlights the talent and energy of the neighborhood’s African diaspora. Her tour winds through a kaleidoscope of African restaurants, book stores and night spots. One of the last neighborhoods to become part of Paris in the 19th century, Goutte d’Or has always been home to low-income workers and immigrants from Italy, Spain and Poland. Now, it’s an African melting pot and fashion hub. Boutique Peulh Vagabond, with its chunky jewelry and elegant outfits, reflects designer Dyenaa Diaw’s Senegalese heritage. Diaw also uses traditional African weave — employing a cooperative of artisans from Burkina Faso. That’s another subtext in this walking tour — how this neighborhood’s creators are tapping Africa-based talent. Diaw has gained an international reputation, partly because American superstar singer Beyonce has worn her creations. She could move her business to a more upscale neighborhood, but Goutte d’Or is home.
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