Thursday, 26 June 2014

101st birthday of Aimé Césaire

(Born 26 June 1913, Basse-Pointe, Martinique)
Poet, playwright, essayist, cofounder (with Léopold Sédar Senghor and Léon-Gontram Damas) of the “negritude” movement in Paris in the 1930s-1940s, one of the preeminent intellectuals of African World affirmation in the wake of 500 years of pan-European enslavement of African peoples, conquest and occupation of Africa, author of classics Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (1939; English: Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1956) Discours sur le colonialisme (1950; English: Discourse on Colonialism, 1953), Toussaint Louverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial (1960, study on the Haitian restoration-of-independence revolutionary), Une Saison au Congo (1966; English: A Season in the Congo, 1968 – play on life and times of Patrice Lumumba, which actor Chiwetel Ejiofor demonstrates a stellar performance on the London stage, 2013) and Une Tempête (1969, English: A Tempest, 1986 – a play, an African-centred rereading of Shakespeare’s The Tempest), teacher and major influence on Frantz Fanon, fellow Martinican and celebrated liberatory scholar and author of The Wretched of the Earth  


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