Discourse on Colonialism is an essay by Aimé Césaire, a poet and politician from Martinique who helped found the négritude movement in Francophone. Half a century later Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism has lost nothing of its dynamism and incantory power. Robin Kelley’s introduction is a valuable tool. Aime Cesaire – Discourse on Colonialism By Baba G. Jallow Cesaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a severe indictment of Western civilization.

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This he says paved the way for fascism. And his life sounds fascinating to me. They were societies that were not only ante-capitalist, as has been said, but anti-capitalist. Published January 1st by Monthly Review Press first published A narrative from the author’s mind.

Discourse on Colonialism

We could have a Negro Frenchman, but never a White Negro. Cesaire combines poetry and history with a fierce and often humorous approach, the result is an almost mystical denunciation of colonialism. Hitler is not unique. And here, Cesaire sends a plaintiff cry to heaven: The humanism of the “respectable bourgeois”, of the csaire man’s burden still plague us today.

In a series of very interesting quotations from “liberal” colonialists, he shows the identity of their colonial ideology with the Nazi ideology, and exposes the ideas that they used to justify colonialism and racism. I’m still working on finishing that book, so thoroughly did Cesaire take over discouese attention.

This edition also contains an excellent introduction by Robin D. These little nitpicks do not detract from the overall strength of his feeling. We pretend, and some really are, shocked by Trump-ism today, but we only fool ourselves.

Monthly Review | Discourse on Colonialism

It is a matter of the Revolution – the one which, until such a time as there is a ceswire society, will substitute for the narrow tyranny of a dehumanized bourgeoisie the preponderance of the only class that still has a universal mission, because it suffers in its flesh from all the wrongs of history, from all the universal wrongs: Dec 22, Hussain Laghabi rated it it was amazing Shelves: The idea of France being integrated into other families was too monstrous to imagine, because a superior civilization cannot possibly be integrated into an inferior civilization.


Until that time, Cesaire suggests, the peoples of Western Cesarie were accomplices to horrendous crimes comparable to the crimes of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists. My main point is that non-fiction is a genre of literature that I find hard to read due to the way it’s written, I usually cesairw historical fiction that is well researched. This happens to be one of my favorite books.

Discourse on Colonialism – Aimé Césaire, Robin D. G. Kelley – Google Books

They were democratic societies, always. Aime Cesaire eloquently describes the brutal impact of capitalism and colonialism on both the colonizer and colonized, exposing the contradictions and hypocrisy implicit in western notions of “progress” and “civilization” upon encountering the “savage,” “uncultured,” or “primitive.

Dsicourse essay is a precursor to the powerful writings of Franz Fanon, Edward Said and many other post-colonial writers.

Cesaire writes all these in a passionate way and one cannot but be moved. While in Paris, he helped found the journal Black Student in the s. Even more absurd, Cesaire argues, are claims by M.

A civilization that uses its principles for trickery and deceit is a dying civilization. The societies plundered by the forces of colonialism were democratic, cooperative and fraternal societies, not the backward, uncivilized, culturally void societies that colonialism claimed they were. Of course, I had to underline a lot of sentences, not only for research, but also because I liked them.

Here Aime Cesaire does not write like a cesair or an academician.

Due to its “harsh tone and radical statements”, [8] the essay has been compared to “a declaration of war”. Some of those things are colonialism and White supremacy.


The power of the colonized peoples in the face of colonial oppression and repression in the colonies, Cesaire suggests, lies in the fact that they know that Europe is lying and therefore weak.

Views Read Edit View history. Retrieved 23 September Some of these writers I had not suspected had such racist ideas, since they are known as humanists and progressive writers — for example Renan.

To ask other readers questions about Discourse on Colonialismplease sign up. We are roughly introduced to the concept of negritudewhich for the author means recovering the shared African past for all the world’s black people in order not to feel apologetic about working toward a shared black future, and the philosophical seeds that would sprout in Fanon’s Black Skins, White Masks and Glisant’s essays are apparent.

But you as an individual have to learn, take it all down or deconstruct it, in order to overcome it, and it’s a lifetime’s amount of work. Nearly “Cesaire’s essay stands as an important document in the development of third world consciousness–a process in which [he] played a prominent role. Similar statements have been made by people discourae the French philosopher Renan, Indochina governor-general Albert Sarraut, and aimee other French religious and political leaders of the day.

Raise any objection to colonialism, Cesaire says, and M. It is equally necessary to decolonize our minds, our inner life, at the same time that we decolonize society.