Yahnell Judah: France as Text 2019

Yahnell Judah is a senior at FIU majoring in Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in Psychology and Chemistry. She will be graduating in Fall of 2019 and plans to attend graduate school to obtain her doctorates in Biomedical Sciences. Since her programs are primarily math and science focused, Yahnell hopes to learn more about European perspectives concerning the humanities, including art and culture. Below are her As Text assignments.

Paris as Text

Sainte Chapelle by Yahnell Judah of FIU in Paris on July 3rd, 2019

Sainte- Chapelle

La vie en rose

Soft light passing through painted glass

Soul transposed

Solid gold housing the Crown of Thorns


A chapel for cultural first class

La vie en rose

The King enters and the worshippers rise

All on one’s toes

Knowledge from scripture presented


By the worshippers eyes

La vie en rose

Shards of light run through scenes subject to be changed

Not in accordance to prose

The people are illiterate


Not noticing the end of the story deranged  

La Bible en rose

The religion of the people sat at the throne

Holiness dragged to new lows

The power of the crown undermined


For King Louis the Ninth to own


Marie Antoinette and Her Home by Yahnell Judah of FIU in Versailles on July 7th, 2019

Marie Antoinette is one of the most judged figures that we have studied in French history so far, however, I sympathize with her. She was born in 1755 to a Holy Roman Empire and an Empress and was promised to the next King of France at a very young age. Of course she developed a taste for extravagance because she knew of nothing else, she was never built to sleep in a bed any less grand than the one she had and never meant to stay in housing any less grand than Versailles. Her time as royalty in France was wrought with unfulfillment as she was given little to no duties that were of any importance so she invested her time and money into her interests such as fashion. I do not think this excused her actions, because she still committed heinous acts such as using state money to continue to build Versailles as she wanted it to be while a large percentage of her population was starving. The country spent 20% of their national income on maintaining Versailles and I could only imagine how that would look to commoners whose children were dying. However, I find it important to note that her excessive spending was not the only cause of France’s debt, the country was also helping in foreign war that was very draining on their resources. Versailles and specifically Marie Antoinette became a scapegoat for all of the country’s problems. The Royalty and advisors of France at the time were obviously mismanaging money especially when it came to benefiting themselves and leading the country to the ground but I believe Marie Antoinette and the hideouts she created in Versailles receive an unfair portion of the blame. She was ignorant to the problems of the people and this is evident in Versailles and this created hatred for her, but I’m not sure if she deserved to be blamed in the entirety that she did.


A Letter to Albert Bulka by Yahnell Judah of FIU in Izieu on July 12th, 2019

To Albert,

You were the youngest of the children taken from your refuge by monsters, robbed of your childhood, innocence and the remainder of your life. On the 6th of April, 1944, Gestapo agents raided what was home to you under the orders of Klaus Barbie. You were arrested and dragged off and murdered for no other reason than simply because you existed. I can’t help but think of my younger siblings when I hear about your story. I love them more than anything in this world and I’m not sure what I would do if they were taken from me in such a way. When they were your age, they used to like to color and draw pictures, just like you did. I’m sure your older brother played games with you too, just like I did with my younger siblings. I feel for your parents also; they were just trying to give you a better life than the one that they were living. I don’t know how anyone could see you as a threat; you were just five years old. You and the other 43 children taken with you deserved to live out a fulfilling life, one not cut short by hatred. I wish you could see that Barbie did have to pay for his crimes against you and yours, even if it wasn’t near all that he deserved. His crimes against humanity will not be forgotten and I hope that the preservation of the memory of what he did to you can help it to not happen again in the future. For the first time since the early 1950s, far right officials have been elected in high positions in governments in several European countries and the United States. But I have hope, because we continue to honor your memory and the memory of others that went through the tragedies of the Holocaust.




The Lazar Family by Yahnell Judah of FIU in Lyon on July 10th, 2019

Hearing the tragedies that occurred during the Holocaust always makes me more aware of the hatred that humans have the capability to use to destroy the lives of others. Senseless hatred spread across several countries like wildfire, making people turn their backs on their neighbors, on their friends, on the principles of humanity and the idea that every person deserves to a chance to live. The events of this mass murder and imprisonment seem too preposterous to be true, yet it did happen and it happened with a violent amount of support. No single tragedy makes me wonder how humans can be so cruel more than the violence against children. The Lazar family was captured and held in Montluc. I stood in the same cell that the mother of the family tried to comfort her four children in. I thought of how impossible that task must’ve been, when they’re just children who don’t understand what is happening and aren’t being allowed to stand in the light of day through no fault of their own. The youngest of these children was just four years old. Only four years old. Francine Lazar probably never got the chance to spend time in school and learn and grow with children her age. She was robbed of any childhood she would have had a chance of remembering. Her years of coloring and learning to ride a bike and tripping over her own shoelaces at the playground were cut short for no other reason than hatred for her background. The entire family was sent to Auschwitz on the 3rd of February 1944 and they were never seen again. May the Lazar Family Rest In Peace.

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