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The Negritude is a literary - philosophical political current that a cultural self-assertion of all people in Africa occurs and their African origins. In contrast to the more Anglo-Saxon oriented Pan-Africanism , the Francophone Négritude reflected the European discourse on Africa.


Thus, Leopold Sedar Senghor , the first president of Senegal , they of Francité contrary; Aimé Césaire , who created the term Négritude, interprets it to be more combat-oriented and more forward-looking than Senghor. While Eurocentrism claims that Africa is cultureless or that African culture is enjoyed as particularly exotic ( exoticism ), the Négritude wants to emphasize an independent, diverse and equal “black” culture and way of life.

Both Senghor - based on Leo Frobenius - and Césaire assume that Africans are culturally and historically fundamentally different from their colonizers. Compared to the negative attributions and devaluations of their culture as "uncivilized" created by colonialism , they emphasize the cultural abilities that are important to them in a positive assessment. For example, they question why sensitive and sensual elements of their culture should be viewed as “instinctual” and emphasize their own cultural and philosophical tradition .

In the post-colonial criticism, underlying approaches of negation were corrected. The fundamental criticism was that neglect might have represented an important factor in regaining a sense of self-worth against the background of oppression, but based its dichotomous thinking of essentialist opposites on the tradition of Hellenic European. Among the critics is one above all Aime Cesaire , of the requirements linked to Négritude Pan- criticized: There are two ways to lose oneself: through the fragmentation in the particularistic or resolution in the "Universal".


The term negation was developed in the course of decolonization in the 1930s by Francophone intellectuals such as Aimé Césaire ( Martinique ), LS Senghor ( Senegal ) and LG Damas ( Guyana ) as a political term for black self-determination and the colonial integration offer of the Francité (the Assimilating colonized people to become "a hundred million French" ). It was coined by Césaire in the Paris magazine “ L'Etudiant Noir ” (1935), where it was clear from the start that this was a comprehensive anti-colonial-revolutionary concept of Africa that went beyond mere art.

The movement was influenced by Leo Frobenius and the writers of the Harlem Renaissance , particularly the Afro-American writers Richard Wright and Langston Hughes , whose works dealt with "blackness" and racism. During the 1920s and 30s, a small group of black students and scholars from the colonies gathered in Paris where they were introduced to the writers of the Harlem Renaissance by Paulette Nardal and her sister Jane. Paulette Nardal and the Haitian doctor Leo Sajou founded La revue du Monde Noir (1931/32), a literary magazine that appeared in English and French and sought to be a mouthpiece for the growing movement of intellectuals from Africa and the Caribbean in Paris. The Negrismo in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean also had connections to the Harlem Renaissance and so a global exchange of these movements emerged against the background of different and identical experiences and situations.

The Eurocentric legitimacy of white dominance is held up by the Négritude for the violent and destructive balance sheet of their actual practice, while the practice of their own cultures is idealized and the sources of their own strengths (e.g. the fixed social network and the communitarian way of life and production) are emphasized.

Césaire's Africanity saw itself as a cultural-emancipatory project with direct political relevance, which he carried out both as a poet / writer (plays, poems, articles, especially "On Colonialism") and as a politician (Mayor of Martinique, Member of the French National Assembly) pursued. The structural closeness of the philosophy and practice of Négritude can also be seen in the example of Senghor, who became President of Senegal in 1960. In 1956, he looked back on the Négritude (the “mass of cultural values ​​in Black Africa”) as “just the beginning of the solution to our problem”:

“In order to begin our own and real revolution, we had to take off our borrowed clothes, the clothes of assimilation, and affirm our own being ... We could not go back to the past ... To be truly true to ourselves, we should Incorporate Negro-African culture into the realities of the 20th century. In order to make our N. an effective instrument of liberation, we had to blow the dust away and assign it its place in the international movement of the contemporary world. "

The opposition to white dominance was fundamental, and the demand for recognition of colonial crime and the corresponding assumption of responsibility was consistent. Even today it represents an uncompromising invitation and an unredeemed obligation to deliver, as is all too clear in the still virulent relationship of violence between white masters and black slaves and in the unbroken rule of enlightened and unenlightened racist images of black people. Critics criticize the negation of "African blood and soil mysticism" or "anti-white racism", which is often seen as an obvious defensive reflex of privileged whites against accusations like that of Césaire:

"Yes, what? massacred the Indians, brought the Islamic world to itself, desecrated and disfigured the Chinese world for a good century, disqualified the black world, extinguished countless voices forever, homesteads scattered to the wind ... and you believe for all of that doesn't have to be paid? "

Fanon and the Négritude

As part of his work Peau noire - masques blancs from 1952 (German 1980: black skin - white masks ), Frantz Fanon (1925–1961) addressed the Négritude movement. In a dialogue with Jean-Paul Sartre about the self-awareness of the “black subject” within colonial societies, negation was the central theme.

Novels and writers of neglect

See also


  • Georges Balandier : Colonial Situation - A Theoretical Approach. In: Rudolf Albertini (Ed.): Modern Colonial History . Cologne 1970. (orig. 1952)
  • Aimé Césaire : About colonialism. Berlin 1968. (orig. 1950)
  • Janheinz Jahn : Muntu. Outlines of Neo-African Culture. 1958.
  • Kian-Harald Karimi: Thunder au mot une nouvelle forme de la Négritude. The renewal of the Negritude at Célestin Monga. In: Gisela Febel, Natascha Ueckmann (ed.): Plural Humanism. Négritude and Négrismo taken one step further. Springer, Wiesbaden 2018, ISBN 978-3-658-20078-7 , pp. 233-256.
  • Ulrich Lölke: Critical Traditions. Africa. Philosophy as a place of decolonization. Iko-Verlag for Intercultural Communication, 2002, ISBN 3-88939-552-X .
  • Christian Neugebauer: Introduction to African Philosophy. Munich / Kinshasa / Libreville 1989, OCLC 891558088 .
  • Marion Package: Reconsideration - Self-awareness - Taking possession. Antillanian identity in the field of tension between Négritude, Antillanité and Créoloité . Verlag für Interkulturelle Kommunikation (IKO), Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-88939-434-5 .
  • Léopold Sédar Senghor : Négritude and Humanism. Düsseldorf 1967. (orig. 1964)
  • Léopold Sédar Senghor: Négritude et Germanisme. Tübingen 1968. (German Africa and the Germans )
  • T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting : Negritude Women. University of Minnesota Press, 2002, ISBN 0-8166-3680-X .
  • Gary Wilder : The French Imperial Nation-State. Negritude & Colonial Humanism Between the Two World Wars. University of Chicago Press, 2005, ISBN 0-226-89772-9 .
  • Alphonse Yaba : Negritude. A cultural emancipation movement in a dead end? Göttingen 1983, ISBN 3-88694-012-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Leo Frobenius: Cultural history of Africa. Prolegomena to a historical theory of shape. Phaidon Verlag, Zurich 1933. (Reprint: Peter Hammer Verlag, Wuppertal 1998)
  2. ^ Christian Neugebauer: Introduction to African Philosophy. Munich / Kinshasa / Libreville 1989.
  3. 1956, letter to M. Thorez
  4. Yannick Ripa: Femmes d'exception - les raisons de l'oubli: Paulette Nardal, la fierté d'être noire (p. 201-210) . Éditions Le Chevalier Bleu, Paris 2018, ISBN 979-1-03180273-2 , pp. 206 .
  5. full text (online)

Web links

Wiktionary: Négritude  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations