Tribute on Black History Month 2022

Les députés de la SFIO Marcel Régis (député d’Alger), Elie Bloncourt et Jean Pierre-Bloch lors de la première séance de la nouvelle Chambre en juin 1936 à Paris, France. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

There’s a lot of negativity in our world, so I thought that it would be appropriate to share a positive story about a man who overcame more obstacles than most people face in a lifetime.

Meet Elie Bloncourt: the blind spy. He lost both eyes to a bullet in WW1 that went through his skull but didn’t kill him.

A Black man from Guadeloupe, he became a German prisoner of war (and survived although blind). He taught himself Braille, enrolled in La Sorbonne university and became a teacher after WW1.


He then entered politics and became the first Black député (think Congressman) in Metropolitan France. Again–BLIND… During WW2, he led a successful resistance movement against the invading Germans.

I love inspiring stories of ordinary people who do incredible things. Lesson learned: the next time you’re tempted to say something’s too difficult, just remember the blind spy. You CAN do it!

P.S. In case you were wondering, Elie inspired one of the characters I’m creating in my current novel, Behind these Walls of Glass. #jprobinsonbooks
Photo credit to Getty Images.

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