For Black History Month, every Friday in Stanza we’re highlighting a different movement that was essential to African American poetry—and the literary landscape of America overall. Last week we took a look at the Harlem Renaissance, which promoted an awareness of black life in America and asserted an independent African American identity. Those tenets would come alive yet again in the Négritude movement, which followed on the tails of Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s.

Négritude was both a literary and ideological movement led by French-speaking black writers and intellectuals from France’s colonies in Africa and the Caribbean in the 1930s. It was marked by its rejection of European colonization and its role in the African diaspora, pride in “blackness” and traditional African values and culture, mixed with an undercurrent of Marxist ideals. 

Both the Harlem Renaissance and Négritude would pave the way for more interest in art that asserts a black identity against a socio-political backdrop, as in the later Black Arts Movement of the 1960s.

read more about négritude

read more poems, essays & more for black history month