In 1992 he began to study his roots (as the worthy great-grandson of Hégésippe Jean Légitimus, the first Black elected deputy in history) and discovered a passion for human rights, especially those of minority groups.
“Hégésippe Jean Légitimus (born April 8, 1868, in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, and died November 29, 1944, in Angles-sur-l’Anglin, France) was a socialist politician from Guadeloupe who served in the French National Assembly from 1898–1902 and from 1906-1914.
Légitimus was the first Black man elected to the French parliament since Jean-Baptiste Belley in 1793. Up until 1898 the colonies and territoires d’Outre-Mer had only been represented by white or mixed-race, or “béké” deputies. Légitimus was followed shortly afterward by other Black deputies, Gratien Candace, Blaise Diagne, Ngalandou Diouf, Achille René-Boisneuf and Maurice Satineau. Légitimus was one of the founders of the Parti Ouvrier, the socialist party of Guadaloupe, which was politically aligned with that of mainland France.“
Hégésippe Légitimus devant le Palais Bourbon. (circa 1930)