He is one of the big surprises of this new government of re-elected President Emmanuel Macron. Historian by profession, Pap Ndiaye was appointed Minister of National Education and Youth on Friday May 20, announced the secretary general of the Elysée, Alexis Kohler, replacing Jean-Michel Blanquer, who remained at the head for five years. from Rue de Grenelle. This 55-year-old French academic, specialist in the social history of the United States and minorities was until now at the head of the French National Museum of the History of Immigration. The school is one of the three major projects of Emmanuel Macron’s new five-year term.

A former student of the École Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, a history graduate and holder of a doctorate from the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Pap Ndiaye is the older brother of the writer Marie NDiaye , Prix Goncourt 2009. He studied in the United States from 1991 to 1996 and became known to the general public by publishing in 2008 La Condition noire, an essay on a French minority, his reference work.

In 2019, always with the desire to popularize his subjects of study, he became scientific adviser to the exhibition “The black model”, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, on the representation of blacks in the visual arts. More recently, he co-presented in 2020 a report on diversity at the Paris Opera. When he arrived at the head of the French National Museum of the History of Immigration in March 2021, he told AFP that his appointment was a symbol for young “non-whites”, even if it was “d ‘primarily due’ to his work as a historian and his ‘long career as an academic’. “I assume myself as is with my skin color,” he added.

Reputed to be a supporter of consensus, his personality could be an asset in promoting reconciliation with the teaching world, which is very critical of Jean-Michel Blanquer.

Part of the political class focused its criticism on Friday on the new Minister of Education Pap Ndiaye, accused by Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour of wanting to “deconstruct” the country and described by RN executives as an “immigrationist militant”. “The appointment of Pap Ndiaye, an assumed indigenist, to National Education is the last stone in the deconstruction of our country, its values ​​and its future”, estimated on Twitter Marine Le Pen, presidential finalist. “Elect as many National Rally deputies as possible to protect our youth from the worst ideologies!” added the RN leader.

“Emmanuel Macron said that the history of France had to be deconstructed. Pap Ndiaye will take care of it, ”reacted his presidential rival Éric Zemmour. Gilles Pennelle, head of federations at the RN, and Julien Odoul, spokesperson for the RN, described the new minister, a historian specializing in the social history of the United States and minorities, born to a Senegalese father and a French mother, of “militant immigration”.