MONOCULTURE – Négritude books


Négritude was conceived as an emancipatory cultural movement, initiated in the Interwar period by francophone intellectuals of the African diaspora who sought to reclaim the value of African culture. Léon-Gontran Damas was a French poet, politician, and one of the founders of the Négritude movement together with Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor. This anthology contains poems by French-speaking authors from six regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, The Antilles (Guadeloupe and Martinique), Guyana, Indochina, Madagascar and Réunion island. The anthology of African and West Indian poets, edited by Léopold Senghor received much recognition for its introductory essay ‘Orphée Noir’ (Black Orpheus) written by Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre characterises Négritude as an "anti-racist racism". The article by Gabriel d'Arboussier, a French-Senegalese politician, denounces Négritude as a reactionary movement for its “particularism”. The arguments of d'Arbousier created the basis of all the following criticism of the movement.  This book is the first volume of the series of books titled Liberté (Freedom). As it states in the introduction, the title expresses the general theme of the texts as the “conquest of freedom as affirmation and illustration of the collective personality of black peoples: of Négritude”.

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