Martinique Begins Celebrations for Aime Cesaire Centennial


Above: Fort de France, Martinique (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Martinique has officially launched the year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of  famed poet, playwright and politician Aime Cesaire.

Cesaire, who passed away in April 2008 at the age of 94, served for 55 years as mayor of Martinique’s capital, Fort de France.

“Papa Cesaire represents hope, equality, love and respect — the best of the human condition — not just for citizens of Martinique, but for people all over the world,” said Muriel Wiltord, director Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau. “His writings, teachings and enduring leadership continue to inspire the French-speaking world on the same level as Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X in the United States.”

Cesaire created the literary review L’Etudiant Noir (The Black Student), which served as the forerunner for the “La Negritude” artistic and cultural movement he later founded.

Martinique’s international airport was named after Cesaire in January 2007.

“In this, the centennial year of his birth, we are proud to celebrate Cesaire’s legacy, keeping his message alive for future generations,” Wiltord said.