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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Rachel Mordecai

Second Advisor

Emily Lordi

Third Advisor

Dawn Fulton

Subject Categories

Africana Studies | African Languages and Societies | American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Other American Studies | Other French and Francophone Language and Literature | Women's Studies


Negritude Feminisms: Francophone Black Women Writers and Activists in France, Martinique and Senegal from the 1920s to 1980s reframes debates about the participation and conversation of francophone women writers in the Negritude movement. I use the Negritude movement as a model to highlight its capacities and limits. Through an intergenerational analysis of the writings and personal experiences of Paulette Nardal and Suzanne Césaire from Martinique, Annette Mbaye d’Erneville and Aminata Sow Fall from Senegal, my dissertation charts common themes of racial consciousness, gender issues and the colonial problem developed by these women. Nardal, Césaire, Mbaye d’Erneville and Sow Fall played a crucial role in liberating the black community, especially the black woman, through their writings and activism. Chapter 1 focuses on Paulette Nardal’s Feminist Negritude in the journals La revue de monde noir, La Dépêche Africaine (in Paris) and La Femme Dans La Cité (in Martinique). Chapter 2 examines the essays published by Suzanne Césaire in the journal Les Tropiques in Martinique. Chapter 3 explores Annette Mbaye d’Erneville’s experience as a journalist, a writer and teacher. She wrote poetry and children’s books to share her feminist vision of Negritude. Chapter 4 analyzes Aminata Sow Fall’s role and experience of the importance of the African culture and how to preserve the tradition. In her novels, Sow Fall is interested in post-independence Senegal and the changes that occur in the society and offer a definition of feminism that fits the African woman’s lived experiences. Ultimately, Negritude Feminisms reclaims black women’s voices by unveiling their writings and experiences to reveal a consciousness about such pressing contemporary issues as the colonial problem, gender issues, women and education, women and politics and the place of francophone black women in the world.