The Portraits Francophones feature French-speaking New Yorkers, their story and personal connection with New York city, their favorite places or activities, and the not so favorite ones. They talk about the importance of their cultural heritage, their language and the bond they share with other Francophones in the city. They've all come to New York for different reasons but this bond takes a deeper meaning for these Francophones. It helps them connect with one another and maintain their French. They also use it as a way to rally others and form new projects whether social, cultural, or educational such as this group of parents trying to open dual-language programs in schools.
Scholars such as Zéphir (2004) and Peckam (2011) argue that there are about 200,000 Haitian and Haitian American inhabitants in Brooklyn alone, where there is an Alliance des émigrés haïtiens (Peckham, 2011). These scholars estimate the total Haitian population of New York City to be over 400,000, taking in consideration the large number of undocumented residents.
Given the widespread presence of French as a global language, there is also every expectation that the numbers of speakers in the United States will continue to grow. There are an estimated 220 million French speakers worldwide, including 72 million partial French speakers, whose native language is not French but who use it on a regular basis, in particular in the 32 countries where French is an official national language and where French may be the official language of instruction in schools (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie IOF, 2011).
List of IOF members: 56 Member States and Governments: Albania, Principality of Andorra, Armenia, Kingdom of Belgium, French Community of Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Canada-New-Brunswick, Canada-Quebec, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, , Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Laos, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Moldova, Monaco, Niger, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Säo Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Vietnam. 14 Observers: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mozambique, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Thailand, Ukraine.
The Consulate of France reports about 70,000 French expatriates living in New York and the Quebec Government Office reports nearly 100,000 Quebec immigrants. New York residents with family connections to various parts of the Francophone world include speakers from Canada, Haiti, Senegal, Mali, Togo, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. New York's French-speakers almost certainly number slightly more than over one million (The Globe-Gate Project, 2011).
NewYorkinFrench.net has members from almost all French-speaking countries. There's no two platforms like this in the world. There's no two cities like New York in the world either.
More Portraits here