The Changing Face of Afro-Caribbean Cultural Identity: Negrismo and Negritude looks primarily at Negrismo and Negritude, two literary movements that appeared in the Francophone and Hispanic Caribbean as well as in Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century. It draws on speeches and manifestos, and use cultural studies to contextualize ideas. It poses the bases of both movements in the Caribbean and in Africa, and lays out the literary antecedents that influenced or shaped both movements. This book examines the search for cultural identity through the poetry of Nicolas Guillen, Manuel del Cabral, and Pales Matos. This search is extended to the Negritude movement through the poems of Leopold Senghor, Leon-Gontran Damas, and Aime Cesaire. Mamadou Badiane further discusses the under-represented Negritude women writers who were silenced by their male counterparts during the first half of the twentieth century. Ultimately, this is a book on Caribbean cultural identity that shows it in a slippery and fluctuating zone.
By demonstrating that while the founders of the Negritude movement both identified themselves as descendants of Africans and were proud to proclaim their African heritage, the members of the Antillanite and Creolite movements see themselves as a product of miscegenation between different cultures.
Mamadou Badiane is assistant professor of Hispanic Studies at University of Missouri-Columbia.