|When Robin Bates, founder and CEO of Cafe de la Soul, first went to Paris in 1989 to study the French culture and language at the Universite de Paris/Sorbonne, what she found was a city that was rich in Black culture and African American history.??Bates returned to her native San Francisco with a deep passion for Paris and a vision to bring Paris??? Black culture to the forefront and in 1998 created Caf?? de la Soul * Your Black Paris Portal.??
For the past 5 years, Caf?? de la Soul has served as the premier online reference for African Americans living in and traveling to Paris; has given voice to the modern Black Paris community; and has addressed the interests and needs of today’s urban travelers, all while highlighting a virtually hidden side of Paris.
In April 2001, Ms. Bates organized a reception and private film screening of the film Bojangles, starring Gregory Hines, marking the first time the film had been viewed in Europe.
Ms. Bates has also had the pleasure of accompanying Kat St. Thomas on her signature ???A Stroll Through Black Paris??? tours, where she served as a translator and honed her skills as a co-tour guide alongside the seasoned ???Guide Royale???, St. Thomas.
Throughout all of her endeavors, Ms. Bates continues to share her vision with the world: “to inspire others to explore a culturally significant Paris in a way they’ve perhaps never dreamed possible.”
She is one of the founders of Black Paris Divas.