MARTINIQUE CELEBRATES AIME CESAIRE CENTENNIAL
Special events planned throughout 2013 to commemorate the life of Martinique’s famed poet and politician.
The life and eternal contributions of famed poet, playwright and politician, Aimé Césaire, is celebrated throughout his home island of Martinique in 2013, the centennial anniversary of his birth. Césaire, who passed away in April 2008 at the age of 94, is widely hailed as a principal crusader for civil rights within the French West Indies, both through his writings and in his 55 years serving as the Mayor of Fort-de-France.
Bench by the Road (Tony Morrison Society)
Toni Morrison Society honors Martinique’s Aimé Césaire, a towing voice of the 20th century.
Toni Morrison Society dedicates a Bench by the Road to Aimé Césaire.
On June 26, 2013, the Toni Morrison Society placed a Bench by the Road in Fort-de-France, Martinique in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aimé Césaire. The bench placement represents one of the keystone events in the year-long celebration and commemoration of Aimé Césaire in Martinique, France and throughout the world.
The Bench by the Road Project of the Toni Morrison Society is a memorial history project established by the Society to honor an individual, place, or event that is of great importance in the history of Black people who are part of the African Diaspora. The Project was launched in 2006 on the occasion of the 75th Birthday of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. Since 2006, the Society has placed nine benches in various locations including Sullivan’s Island off the coast of South Carolina, which was the point of entry for 40 percent of enslaved Africans who came to North America, the city of Oberlin in Ohio, which was part of the Underground Railroad, and Paris, in honor of Louis Delgrès, a French general and freedom fighter for Guadeloupe.
Mrs. Toni Morrison’s speech, on the occasion of Aimé Césaire Centennial in Martinique.
The Bench in honor of Aimé Césaire is the 10th Bench placement by the Society. As stated on the bench plaque in his honor was unveiled on June 26th: “This Bench placed in honor of the 100th birthday of Aimé Césaire, son of Martinique and world renowned poet, playwright, author, teacher, anti-colonialist, and political leader.”
For more information www.tonimorrisonsociety.org
Homage to Aimé Césaire
On the occasion of Aimé Césaire Centennial celebration, Timothy Ferguson, famous portraitist from Canada is currently exhibiting at l’Atrium Center in Fort-de-France, a collection of portraits of renowned poet, playwright, politician and political leader Aimé Césaire.
The exhibit, entitled Requiem pour le nègre fundamental, is a sublime, colorful and inspiring collection of paintings of Aimé Césaire through the years, it is on view, free of charge, until the end of July at:
Atrium Cultural Center
6 rue Jacques Cazotte, 97200 Fort-de-France
+ 596 596 60 78 78
Open Tuesday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 9h to 17h.
About Aimé Césaire
Born in Basse-Pointe, June 26, 1913, Aimé Césaire was an early proponent of black pride, dedicating his life to the struggle against colonialism and its racial stereotypes and the fight to bring equal to French overseas territories, including Martinique, equal status as region of France.
In 1935, Césaire was admitted to the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and was one of the principal architects of the Négritude Movement, the affirmation of a black and African Diaspora culture and heritage. Césaire’s most famous poem, Cahier D’un Retour au Pays Natal, was published in 1939. From 1945 to 2001, Césaire served as Mayor of Fort- de-France and served in the French National Assembly from 1946 to 1993 as Deputy.
Aimé Césaire passed away on April 17, 2008 in Fort-de-France. In 2011, a plaque bearing his name was placed in the Panthéon of Paris, where some of France’s most revered citizens are buried including Victor Hugo, Pierre and Marie Curie, Victor Shoelcher, Jean Moulin and André Malraux.
Download the “Aimé Césaire Centennial” 1913 – 2013 schedule of events in the US.