As I’m from Guadeloupe, I have heard, during the many years I spent there, a lot about a man, who fought against the paradox of a society, of a country, of a people towards a part of what composes the French Identity. Aimé Césaire, a wonderful writer from Martinique, a politician and a philosopher died this week, he was 94 years old.
He left us an awesome legacy. With Leopold Sédar Senghor and Léon Gontran Damas, he created a literary movement, called “negritude” which gathered black-French-speaking writers, who were proud to be what they were, that is to say, Blacks, from Africa, with their own culture and their differences. He was the symbol of this people, which resisted against the policies of “assimilation” which were done by French governments, against the behavior and the prejudices that French people could have towards black people etc. He was and he is still the best representation of what the “French colonies” can create.
Furthermore, he was also an important politician in Martinique since he was a deputy from this Island and the mayor of Fort-de-France, the main city of Martinique. He will be remembered and loved by the people Martinique for everything this socialist did.
Many people attended his funerals, in order to salute for the last time one of the greatest French man of the XXth century. Many people from West Indies and from Africa wanted to thank him for everything he did, for having defended his people. Besides, French politicians such as Nicolas Sarkozy, Segolene Royal, François Bayrou, Lionel Jospin, Laurent Fabius etc. were in Fort-de-France too. Their presence is important since it is the proof that the fight he did during his whole life was fair and was not vain. Nowadays, we need other people like him to continue to spread his ideas, to continue to allow French people and governments to change their mind, to consider ethnic differences as wealth, to promote them, not to hide them. We must thank him and the others who share his ideas, in a sense they avoid the risk to deny the terrible policies France has done in its elder colonies. This is our conscious, we should listen to it.