In the United States, July is designated as National French-American Heritage Month and was established to honor the significant contributions made to the country by people of French descent. Currently, approximately 11.8 million Americans of French or French Canadian descent live and work in the United States, with about 2 million of those speaking French at home. As of the 2011 census, an additional 750,000 French-American citizens were added to those numbers due to the large creole community, whose language is based on French.
A significant goal of groups like the Alliance Française, who spearheaded events like French-American Heritage Month, is to dedicate the entire month of July to celebrating and honoring the immense influence that the French have had on the United States in terms of laws, art, culture, language, and social etiquette. There are many ways in which the public can participate in the celebrations that start at the homes of French-American families, the offices of French organizations based in the U.S., and on social media platforms dedicated to French-American culture and communities.
FRENCH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH ACTIVITIES
- Visit your nearest Alliance Française
Alliance Française, or A.F., is a global organization that promotes the French language and francophone culture. They have offices in most cities worldwide and have an open-door policy for anyone wanting to learn more about French culture or even provide you with tools to learn the language. If you’re an American citizen, you may find it very inspiring to visit your nearest Alliance Française to learn more about the robust and historical bond between French-American nations.
- Book a trip to France
A trip to Europe, especially France, is at the top of their bucket lists for many people. So, here is your chance to make your dream a reality. You’ve heard about and celebrated French-American Heritage Month, and now it’s time to immerse yourself fully. Take the leap and visit France. You will experience a different culture, eat delectable food, and discover great art and architecture.
- Watch iconic French films
French cinema has inspired many American filmmakers we know and love today, but it’s important to celebrate the auteurs that started it on foreign soil. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Mubi, you will find great examples of early French cinema. Look out for films by Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Agnes Varda to name a few.