In March 1789, before the French Revolution, the Champagnerots added to the article number 29 of their register of grievances the pain they felt about the existence of Slavery and their will to consider Black people as their equals. This article, « The Vow of Champagney », got unnoticed for more or less two centuries and was brought to light in 1971 by a journalist, René Simonin. This heritage makes Champagney and its surroundings a pioneer melting pot of the abolitionist movement, still active in the fight against injustice and intolerance. But today, most of the inhabitants of Champagney vote for the French Nationalist Party. With this strong local past, and with the same sentiments as his ancestors, teacher Paul Lo Papa bring College students Victor Schoelcher of Champagney to Washington and Charlottesville to follow the steps of the abolitionists, and discover the reality of the Black struggle in America. The aim is to appoint an ambassador from amongst the students who will deliver the vow to Barak Obama.
« THE VOW TO OBAMA » is the third episode of a documentary series that is devoted to the history of slave trade, slavery, and their respective abolitions. There are two essential reasons at the basis of my commitment in this project; the first one is that knowing that the tragic period of slave trade seems to be fundamental to the understanding of our contemporary society and its balances (such as racism and discrimination, the spreading of Black people, cross-breeding…). The second one is that in spite of the abolitions that happened all over the world, slavery still exists nowadays, under too many forms (forced labour, children sold as pure merchandise, prostitution, sexual slavery). To know and share this history on a large scale seems to be the best way of fighting this insult made to mankind. The principle objective of this film: The formation of citizens who are open to others and able to communicate the past to their peers, but also to bring to light the current preoccupations of our society. « THE VOW TO OBAMA » will be made in two versions : a 90 minutes version, for the cinema, and another of 52 minutes, more condensed, for television and which could equally serve as educational support for students in middle and high schools.