Pied-Noir (, Black-Foot), plural Pieds-Noirs, is a term referring to Christian and Jewish people whose families had migrated from all parts of the Mediterranean to French Algeria, the French protectorate in Morocco, or the French protectorate of Tunisia, where many had lived for several generations, and who were expelled at the end of French rule in North Africa between 1956 and 1962. The term usually includes the North African Jews, who had been living there for many centuries but were awarded French citizenship by the 1870 Cremieux decree. More specifically, the term Pieds-Noirs is used for those of European ancestry who "returned" to mainland France as soon as Algeria gained independence, or in the months following.
From the French invasion on 18 June 1830 until its independence, Algeria was administratively part of France (French departments in 1848) and its European population was simply called Algerians or colons (colonists), whereas the Muslim people of Algeria were called Arabs, Muslims or Indigenous.
The term Pieds-Noirs began to be used commonly shortly before the end of the Algerian independence war in 1962. As of the last census in Algeria, taken on 1 June 1960, there were 1,050,000 non-Muslim civilians (mostly Catholic) in Algeria (10 percent of the total population including 130,000 Algerian Jews).
During the Algerian War the Pieds-Noirs overwhelmingly supported colonial French rule in Algeria and were opposed to Algerian nationalist groups such as the Front de libération nationale (FLN) and Mouvement national algérien (MNA). The roots of the conflict reside in political and economic inequalities perceived as an "alienation" from the French rule as well as a demand for a leading position for the Berber, Arab, and Islamic cultures and rules existing before the French conquest. The conflict contributed to the fall of the French Fourth Republic and the mass exodus of Algerian Europeans and Jews to France.
After Algeria became independent in 1962, about 800,000 Pieds-Noirs of French nationality were evacuated to mainland France while about 200,000 chose to remain in Algeria. Of the latter, there were still about 100,000 in 1965 and about 50,000 by the end of the 1960s.
Those who moved to France suffered ostracism from the Left for their perceived exploitation of native Muslims and some blamed them for the war, thus the political turmoil surrounding the collapse of the French Fourth Republic. In popular culture, the community is often represented as feeling removed from French culture while longing for Algeria. Thus, the recent history of the pieds-noirs has been imprinted with a theme of double alienation from both their native homeland and their adopted land. Though the term rapatriés d'Algérie implies that they once lived in France, most pieds-noirs were born in Algeria. Many families had lived there for generations, and the Algerian Jews, who were considered pieds-noirs, were as indigenous to Algeria as its Muslim population.
Pied-Noir may refer to:
- Pied-Noir, alternative name for European ancestries settler of French Algeria (1830-1962)
- Pied Noir, wine grape also known Malbec