Obituary: Aimé Césaire 1913-2008

When anti-colonial literary giant Aimé Césaire passed away last week, he left behind a lasting legacy of using the written word to promote social justice.

Césaire was best known for initiating Negritude, a political and literary movement that rejected colonialism and promoted black pride. He also served as an inspiration to Franz Fanon, one of the great thinkers of our time. I first learned about Césaire when I was in college, where I minored in post-colonial studies. I read his book, Discourses on Colonialism, and I was blown away by his passion for political engagement.

My fondest memory of him is when he criticized the then minister of the interior Nicolas Sarkozy endorsement for legislation citing the “good things” that come out of colonialism. The language was immediately taken out of the bill thereafter.

“I remain faithful to my beliefs and remain inflexibly anticolonialist,” Mr. Césaire said at the time.

Could you imagine if he had a blog!

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