Negritude was led by Martinican poet Aime Cesaire, French Guianese poet Leon Damas, and future Senegalese President (and poet) Leopold Sedar Senghor. Surrealism and the Harlem Renaissance were among the styles and art movements that affected it.
Cesaire was born on Martinais in 1903 and died in October 1986 at the age of 75. He is considered one of the fathers of negrittude, a term he coined to describe an artistic and intellectual movement that aimed to express the pain, humiliation, and oppression suffered by black people in America and Europe. In his poems, essays, and speeches, Cesaire advocated for equal rights for blacks in Africa and in the diaspora.
Cesaire was inspired by the works of Paul Éluard, Charles Baudelaire, and Arthur Rimbaud, among others. He also loved jazz and used this influence in many of his songs. In addition, Cesaire was a strong supporter of the Franco regime in Spain. He moved to France at a young age and became a naturalized citizen there.
Cesaire received several awards during his lifetime, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. He is now considered one of the most important poets of the 20th century.
Damas was born on Étoupe in 1876 and died in Paris in 1958.
Negritude was an anti-colonial cultural and political movement formed in the 1930s in Paris by a group of African and Caribbean students who aspired to recover the value of blackness and African culture. Its founders included Léopold Sédar Senghor, Césaire Saïd, and José Antonio Echeverría.
Its aim was to preserve the values of African civilization from extinction. Participants gathered annually at the Cercle du Carré d'Afrique to share ideas about promoting black dignity and identity. Important thinkers including W.E.B. Du Bois, George Padmore, and Andrew Young were among its attendees.
The movement began as a reaction against European colonialism, which had taken away many aspects of African culture. In addition, many blacks in Europe believed that they were inferior to whites and could not succeed in white society. The participants of Negritude wanted to prove this theory wrong and show the world that blacks are just as intelligent and capable as anyone else. They also wanted to promote black pride and identity so that more blacks would learn about their history and culture rather than focus on their rights as slaves or immigrants.
Some scholars believe that Negritude led to the rise of Pan-Africanism, since many of its leaders were also involved in this movement.
Cesaire, Aime Aime Cesaire, Senghor, and Leon-Gontran Damas, the movement's founders (or Les Trois Peres), met while studying in Paris in 1931 and began publishing the first publication devoted to Negritude, L'Etudiant noir (The Black Student), in 1934. The group sought to promote cultural awareness among black people and change discriminatory practices against blacks worldwide.
Cesaire was born on March 16, 1913, in Haiti. He moved with his family to Martinique when he was nine years old. He then went to France to study literature and history. While there, he became involved with the French Communist Party and France's Civil Rights Movement. In 1955, Cesaire returned to Haiti where he worked as a teacher and writer until his death in 2008 at age 88.
Senghor was born on May 5, 1889, in West Africa. He grew up in Senegal and studied philosophy and theology before becoming an academic staff member at the University of Paris. In 1920, Senghor became one of the first Africans to receive a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. He also served as president of France's National Assembly between 1959 and 1961. In 1963, Senghor was named a commander of the Legion of Honor by President Charles de Gaulle. He died in 1980 at the age of 90.
Damas had been born in Cuba on February 2, 1906.