PARIS, France — I had 12 hours left on my eight-day holiday in Paris, and I figured I was going to spend most of those hours sleeping as I prepared to return to The States. I almost didn’t want to go.

For I discovered something about Paris that captivated me. In the hours before I was scheduled to leave, I’d come to realize Paris was a city easy for a Black traveler to fall in love with. “The City of Lights,” a sobriquet it’ll never shake, had a history of welcoming people who looked like me.

I couldn’t but think so even before I crossed the Atlantic.

The list was long of celebrated Black Americans who’d left the racism of their homeland behind last century for the more settled acceptance France offered them.

People like James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Nina Simone and Dorothy Dandridge spent so much of their lives on French soil they deserved citizenship. They were comfortable here.

I doubt one of them would claim racism was nonexistent, but I suspect that they preferred the “new racism” they found over the “old” they’d left behind.

In the first half of last century, they couldn’t be Black, live in America and like what they experienced. Each day they put their black skin on display they faced hostility and bigotry. They also put their lives at risk.

Yet the French warmed to their black skin, their culture and their history. In some ways, that acceptance of skin color explained why jazz, a truly American export, continues to play well here when it has almost died in America.

The French remember trumpeters Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, clarinetist Sidney Bechet, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and orchestra maestro Duke Ellington. All of them made handsome livings here.

They found what I found: In all my travels, no city outside the USA has more cultural assets than Paris.

I had no problems sating my cultural appetite. Nor did I have a problem satisfying my tastes for great food. Paris didn’t disappoint. Oh, its food was scrumptious.

I ate a salmon ravioli that rivaled any dish I’d ever eaten. At the Clover Grill, I closed my final hours with two cold beers and a medium-rare steak, a piece of Argentine beef that might have put steaks at Morton’s to shame.

Dissecting those eight days here, I wished I could have stretched my stay to 18 days or 28 days. I didn’t miss America — not for one second. I wanted to remain and learn more about Paris, about how it worked and about how it had its own reckoning with slavery.

In putting my bags into an Uber, I didn’t look forward to taking the 45-minute ride to Charles de Gaulle Airport. I had too many other things I wished I could do. I wanted to return to “Little Africa”; I wanted a seat in Le Duc des Lombards, one of the main jazz clubs; I longed to go to English-language comedy club.

Wouldn’t the latter be a riot?

The city is more than jazz and jokes. Perhaps it’s most endearing quality might be the leisurely pace in which Parisians approach life. A morning in a café, a cup of hot chocolate and a croissant as a companion, makes for a wonderful start to carefree day.