Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Negritude: Updated

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
March 17, 2013

  1. Leaders of the Negritude movement are Aimé Césaire (French Martinique), Léon Damas (French Guiana) and Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal).

  2. Definition : Negritude is a literary ideological movement started in 1934 by Afrikan-Caribbean-French-speaking poets/authors "to break away from French culture and to give creative identity and expression to an inner, Afrikan self that had been suppressed and hidden away; it represents cultural/linguistic de-colonization/revolution.

    Leopold Sedar Senghor defines Negritude as "the sum total of the Afrikan social, political and cultural values of Afrikan civilization."

    In the past, the "French had justified cultural assimilation on the erroneous premise that Afrikans had neither history nor culture of their own. Negritude is essentially a reaction against the French theory of assimilation."

    Negritude is also a nationalistic process whereby Afrikan people who have been cut off from and made to despise their own Afrikan roots/heritage, learn to know themselves, come to accept themselves and begin to believe in themselves again.

    Negritude represents the process from historical-ancestral-cultural dislocation (powerlessness) to historical-ancestral-cultural location (empoverment).

  3. Function/purpose of Negritude; The Afrikan has the task of understanding his own cultural identity/ancestral heritage, to accept it and to believe in its worth, validity and humanism.

  4. The Afrikan personality is the core/spinal cord of Negritude that seeks to cement Afrikan-Caribbean identity/unity/solidarity/consciousness.

One Afrikan People-At Home and Abroad.

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.

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