Haywood said that the point of the trip, which lasted from the end of October until mid November, was to study famous black writers who lived in Paris while being immersed in the Parisian culture.
“We studied James Baldwin and Richard Wright,” explained Haywood. “We took tours of the places where they lived and places that they liked to visit. We found out that Langston Hughes actually used to be a bouncer at a club so we tried to find it but it wasn’t a club anymore.”
Not only did the students visit important areas that influenced the young black writers, they actually had the chance to meet with and question a successful writer who is currently living in Paris.
“We had a contemporary black writer, Jake Lamar, come and talk to our class while we were there,” said Haywood. “He talked to us about the process he went through in writing first book, ‘Rendezvous Eighteenth,’ which is set in Paris.”
Haywood explained that there are many advantages to taking a class overseas and encouraged that students should take some form of class in which they travel to a new place.
“We would have class in our teacher’s apartments some days and some days we’d go to a local café, which you don’t get to do with your average class. The fact that you get to go on an adventure every day is awesome.”