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Title:Black and White and re(a)d all over: 'L'Étudiant noir', communism, and the birth of Négritude
Author:Rexer, Raisa
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:Africa
About person:Aimé Césaire (1913-2008)ISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v044/44.4.rexer.pdf
Abstract:The origins of Aimé Césaire's famous neologism Négritude have long been shrouded in mystery; with many scholars speculating as to whether or not he coined the term before it appeared in his poem 'Cahier d'un retour au pays natal' in 1939. This article examines a previously lost early example of Césaire's writings that predates the Cahier, a 1935 issue of his student magazine 'L'Étudiant noir', in which the word Négritude appears. Through an examination of Césaire's allusions to the works of Marx and the Marxist thinker Paul Nizan, the author argues that, contrary to accepted wisdom, Marxist thought was essential to Césaire's original conception of Négritude. This new discovery suggests that a reevaluation of the relationship of Négritude to both Marxist politics and to newer literary movements, such as Créolité, is in order. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]