Glossary of Poetic Terms
A term coined in the 1930s by Afro-Martiniquan French poet and politician Aimé Fernand Césaire, Senegalese poet and politician Léopold Senghor, and Léon Damas of French Guiana. The movement was a reaction against the European colonization of Africa and its legacy of cultural racism. Like the Harlem Renaissance writers, poets of the Négritude movement, also including David Diop and Léonard Sainville, sought to examine and uphold the unique aspects of their African cultural roots; by reclaiming the term “négritude,” they meant to foster politically revolutionary associations. Langston Hughes was an early influence on Césaire and his peers as he and Richard Wright were addressing “noireism” in their own work in the United States. Other influences include the Haitian anthropologists Antenon Firmin and Melville Herskovits, and Martiniquan Surrealists Pierre Yoyotte and J.M. Monnerot. Writers involved in the movement typically utilized a style to rebel against Europe’s colonial drive.