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Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World$
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Charles Forsdick and David Murphy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319808

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date: 20 October 2018

Negritude, Présence Africaine, Race

Negritude, Présence Africaine, Race

(p.227) Chapter 18 Negritude, Présence Africaine, Race
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World
Richard Watts
Liverpool University Press

The Negritude movement traces its roots to French educational institutions in the mid-1930s and can be linked to the publishing house Présence Africaine based in Paris. Both the Negritude writers and Présence Africaine focused on the issues of race and racial hierarchies, but much of the movement's cultural history is unrelated to Présence Africaine. Présence Africaine was not the only publisher of African and Caribbean literature in France until the 1970s, and, in fact, only began publishing contemporary novels and collections of poetry in 1955, when many of the foundational Negritude texts were already in circulation. In addition, it published a number of works that were beyond Negritude's purview. This chapter examines Negritude's pre-history and its afterlives, as well as its period of institutionalisation between 1947, when Présence Africaine was founded, and the 1970s, when Negritude's influence began to decline. It also explores why race and anti-colonialism moved from the margins to the centre of public discourse right after World War II.

Keywords:   Negritude movement, Présence Africaine, race, anti-colonialism, France, novels, poetry, Caribbean literature

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