This version of Aimé Césaire’s (1913-2008) seminal work was released with a forward from the eminent African Diaspora historian Robin D.G. Kelly. The Martinican poet, writer, and politician originally produced this work in France in 1955, during the height of his founding of the Pan-Africanist movement of Negritude with contemporaries like the Senegalese thought-leader
Léopold Sédar Senghor. This particular work focuses on global colonialism, with a focus on Black dominated spaces in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. With his depth of personal experience from the French colonies, this piece calls for de-colonization from the perspective of damning the capitalist colonial
system’s negative repercussions on both the colonizer and the colonized. The novelty of the text at the time when it was first published was its confrontation with the hypocrisy of colonization as a civilizing structure. Césaire was keen to critique the destructive effects it had on its enforcers and its supposed benefactors. This short book is extremely dense in its historical relevance as an emancipatory text, as well as a social condemnation of European exported political structures and their racialized privileges. He valorizes Black and African identities and people, while noting that colonialism dehumanizes all who come into contact with it – most especially Whites, colonials, and colonizers.
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