Aimé Césaire was born on 25 June 1913, in Basse-Pointe, Martinique, a French colony in the Caribbean. Césaire won a scholarship to travel to Paris in the early 1930s and studied literature and philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure. Césaire is a recipient of the International Nâzim Hikmet Poetry Award, the second winner in its history. His volumes of poetry include Putting in Fetters, Lost Bodies, Decapitated Sun and Miraculous Arms. His plays include The Tempest and The Tragedy of King Christophe, and he is also the author of Discourse on Colonialism, a classic text of French political literature, and helped establish the literary and ideological movement negritude, a term Césaire defined as ‘the simple recognition of the fact that one is black, the acceptance of this fact and of our destiny as blacks, of our history and culture’.
Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
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