About the Blogger
Dr. Monique Y. Wells is a multipreneur – she’s a preclinical safety professional, productivity expert, writer and editor, speaker, and travel professional. A 23-year resident of Paris, France, she is co-founder of the travel planning service Discover Paris! and the creator of the company's Entrée to Black Paris tours and activities.
Through Entrée to Black Paris, Monique has worked with numerous study abroad programs over the course of 15 years to bring the African-American experience in Paris to life. She has partnered with The Travel Institute, a continuing education and certification company for the travel industry, to create a course for travel professionals that introduces Paris from an Afro-centric perspective.
Monique has been sharing stories about the African Diaspora's rich history, culture, and contemporary life in Paris for several years and has seen over 30 of her articles published in newspapers, magazines and e-publications, including the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and This City Paris magazine. She is co-author of Paris Reflections: Walks through African-American Paris (McDonald & Woodward, 2002; co-author Christiann Anderson) and author of Black Paris Profiles, which features the stories of 24 contemporary African-American and Afro-Caribbean expatriates (Discover Paris, 2012).
Her first book, Food for the Soul (Elton-Wolf Publishing, 2000), was a labor of love – for family, for cooking and for history. With a preface by Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse, the French version of Food for the Soul has helped introduce African-American culinary art, history and culture to the French. The U.S. version of the book, which was self-published, was named Best Nonfiction Book of 2001 by The Sistah Circle Book Club and was featured on Al Roker's Food Network television show Recipe for Success in April 2004.
Monique's freelance writing activities include blogging. She is the author of Discover Paris' award-winning Entrée to Black Paris™ blog as well as the Les Amis de Beauford Delaney blog. In fact, it was her freelance writing activities that led her to uncover the story of Beauford Delaney's unmarked grave and subsequently found Les Amis de Beauford Delaney as a French non-profit association.
In her endeavor to raise funds to place a tombstone at Beauford's previously unmarked grave, Monique became increasingly passionate about this artist's story and about his art. She created this blog as a means of bringing his story to the public's attention and successfully raised the money required in only a few months. The U.S. Embassy hosted the reception that celebrated the laying of the stone in October 2010.
Monique's research into Beauford's life and the continuing discovery of his work has led her to explore the fascinating stories of other African Americans who came to Paris to pursue their passion for the visual arts. Because of her work with study abroad programs, she is aware that African American writers and musicians are far more frequently the focus of such programs than artists. Through projects supported by her newest non-profit organization, the Wells International Foundation, she is committed to rekindling the historical renaissance that 19th- and 20th-century African-American artists experienced in the City of Light.