Black women living in the French empire played a key role in the decolonial movements of the mid-twentieth century. Thinkers and activists, these women lived lives of commitment and risk that landed them in war zones and concentration camps and saw them declared enemies of the state. Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel mines published writings and untapped archives to reveal the anticolonialist endeavors of seven women. Though often overlooked today, Suzanne Césaire, Paulette Nardal, Eugénie Éboué-Tell, Jane Vialle, Andrée Blouin, Aoua Kéita, and Eslanda Robeson took part in a forceful transnational movement. Their activism and thought challenged France’s imperial system by shaping forms of citizenship that encouraged multiple cultural and racial identities. Expanding the possibilities of belonging beyond national and even Francophone borders, these women imagined new pan-African and pan-Caribbean identities informed by black feminist intellectual frameworks and practices. The visions they articulated also shifted the idea of citizenship itself, replacing a single form of collective identity and political participation with an expansive plurality of forms of belonging.
A Question of Allegiance: African American Intellectuals, Presence Africaine and the 1956 Congres des Ecrivains et Artistes Noirs
Recent scholarship has demonstrated that in the period from 1945 through to the late 1950s African American intellectuals re-oriented their activism from an internationalist and human rights framed agenda towards a domestically bound struggle. This article will contribute to this literature by mapping out a facet of African American intellectual engagement with the African diaspora during this period. Of particular focus will be African American reactions to the journal Présence Africaine and the conference sponsored by the journal in 1956, le Congrès des écrivains et artistes noirs. Iwill argue that the experiences of a select group of African American delegates to this Congrès served to emphasise the radically different objectives and strategies of nationalities within the African diaspora, thereby consolidating black American perceptions of themselves as first, and foremost, American. In interrogating this diasporan dimension of the period, this article will shed light on a neglected aspect of African American history and expand the intellectual and political boundaries of the black freedom struggle.
Suzanne Césaire: Liberation beyond the Great Camouflage
Suzanne Césaire’s essays in Tropiques make an important intervention in imagining a new Martinican and ultimately Pan-Caribbean identity during World War II. This study examines Césaire’s joint politics and poetics of liberation in the context of dissidence in Martinique. A close reading of her essays alongside previously uncited personal correspondence reveals Haiti to be central to her vision for a Caribbean cultural renaissance after the death and destruction of the war.
The truth and reconciliation commission in South Africa: perspectives and prospects
Debate about the TRC has become necessary in South Africa today, 20 years since the final Report was handed over to government on 29 October 1998. Assessment of its efficacy and longer-term value is being undertaken, unfortunately, within an environment of intense disillusionment about the promise of constitutional democracy. This paper sets out the environment in which the TRC was established in 1996, its legal and constitutional frameworks, its achievements for creating a climate of reconciliation, for granting amnesty to perpetrators of human rights violations, and for setting a reparations framework. South Africans are conscious of grinding poverty and inequality, pervasive racism, and unfulfilled aspirations of the democratic settlement of 1994. What value, then was the TRC? This paper attempts a fair assessment, seeks to be honest about its grandiose claims, and undertakes a philosophical, political and ethical analysis of its achievements. Drawing on many studies on the TRC it seeks to chart a more rational course than some, noting that circumstances in Africa are such that the TRC is being revisited, The Gambia, for example, being the latest country that has introduced the TRC. Others may follow suit: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, to name a few.
Humanitarian Intervention from Constructivist Perspective: Case Study of China Peace Keeping Operation in Darfur
Peace keeping operation as part of humanitarian intervention is a close issue to human rights. It is assumed to be a way to achieve human right particularly in situation of conflict. This essay analyses the difference between humanitarian intervention and the promotion of human rights and reason state join peace keeping operation in humanitarian intervention from constructivist view? This essay chose Case study China peace keeping operation in Darfur. It concludes that Constructivism sees human rights as a norm that can be promoted by social movement as well countries accept that norm. China has to adopt human rights as one of the primary norm and join peace keeping as an idea that this country accepts the human rights norm. In this step China is a norm cascade stage. China receive human rights but still question the appropriate behavior regarding the norm.