2 What is NegritudeNegritude refers to a consciousness of and pride in the cultural and physical aspects of the African heritage or the state or condition of being blackIt was an ideology propounded by Caribbean scholars, influenced by the black experience of slavery, imperialism and colonialism of the slavery era and after.It is a literary and political movement founded in French Martinique and Paris in the 1930s by a group of students from the French Caribbean and Africa. The founding members were , Aimé Césaire, Léopold Senghor, and Léon Damas.
3 Views of NegritudeThe founders of Negritude were in part inspired by their encounters with members of the Harlem Renaissance, many of whom were living in France at the time to escape racism and segregation in the United States.Negritude was not only concerned with the cooperation between Blacks within the group ( the French Colonies), but also with the well-being and unity of the black race all over the world.
4 Views of NegritudeNegritude therefore strives to be universal, encompassing all people of African descent. Yet, it is a complex movement which denounces colonialism, rejects Western domination, and promotes acceptance of the black self or the consciousness of belonging to the black race.It is through literature that both Césaire and Senghor begin to find their political voices, and each proceeds to take on an important role in his respective region after the end of colonialism .The literature of Negritude therefore includes the writings of black intellectuals who affirm black personality and redefine the collective experience of Blacks.
5 Objectives of Negritude To eliminate the barriers between black students from the various French colonies and all people of black decent.To reject the political, social and moral domination of the West and enlighten the black race such that there is an acceptance of the black self.To rehabilitate Africans and all blacks from European ideology that holds the black inherently inferior to the white -- the rationale for Western imperialism.
6 Objectives of Negritude Cont’d To counteract the idea of black inferiority (black magic; black sheep; black market etc.) with black pride.To promote the concept of blackness through the arts and literature (for example the poems, novels and short stories of Cesaire, Senghor, Omafume Onoge and Gabriel Okara) Franz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skins White Masks)To draw on the continent of Africa as a course of ethnic identity and cultural depth. However, Negritude does not speak of a desire a return to outmoded African customs, only to the original spirit of the Black race.
7 Impact of NegritudeThe philosophy of Negritude had an impact on many Caribbean writers such as Derek Walcott.Negritude was embraced with greater enthusiasm in Haiti and Cuba than in the Commonwealth Caribbean