12 Quotes by Aime Cesaire

Aimé Césaire was a Martinican poet, playwright, and politician who is widely regarded as one of the founders of the Negritude movement. His writing often focused on issues of race and colonialism and sought to empower Black people and other marginalized groups. In addition to his literary achievements, Césaire was also an influential political figure in his home country of Martinique, where he served as mayor for several years. He was a champion of decolonization and worked tirelessly to promote social justice and equality. (Bio)

Aime Cesaire Quotes


Culture is everything. Culture is the way we dress, the way we carry our heads, the way we walk, the way we tie our ties - it is not only the fact of writing books or building houses.

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It is no use painting the foot of the tree white, the strength of the bark cries out from beneath the paint.

I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.

I have a different idea of a universal. It is of a universal rich with all that is particular, rich with all the particulars there are, the deepening of each particular, the coexistence of them all.

Beware, my body and my soul, beware above all of crossing your arms and assuming the sterile attitude of the spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of griefs is not a proscenium, and a man who wails is not a dancing bear.

There's room for everyone at the rendezvous of victory.

Africa, help me to go home, carry me like an aged child in your arms. Undress me and wash me. Strip me of all of these garments, strip me as a man strips off dreams when the dawn comes. . . .

In the whole world no poor devil is lynched, no wretch is tortured, in whom I too am not degraded and murdered.

Reason, I sacrifice you to the evening breeze.

And let me die suddenly, to be born again in the revelation of beauty....And the revelation of beauty is the wisdom of the ancestors.

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Poetic knowledge is born in the great silence of scientific knowledge. (Meaning)

A man screaming is not a dancing bear. Life is not a spectacle.

― Aime Cesaire Quotes

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