African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 197

Article in Press

Black Transnational Consciousness, Connected Historiography/Histories, and the Practice of Black Intertextuality

Celucien Joseph

  •  Received: 16 August 2018
  •  Accepted: 16 August 2018
This essay studies the practice of intertextuality by black writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Haitian indigenism, and Negritude. In the first half of the twentieth century, the communities of the African Diaspora witnessed the blossoming of various literary and cultural movements. They revealed striking parallels and connections. From the 1920s to the 1940s, writers of the Harlem Renaissance in the United States, Franco-Caribbean Haitian indigènisme in Haiti, and the Franco-African movement Negritude in France produced literatures articulating a continuity of vision, and intertextual motifs about black presence and experience in the world. They responded ideologically to the common social and political struggles, and shared historical realities haunting the people of African descent, continentally and diasporically. I propose that through the practice of intertextuality, black authors were influencing each other which also accounted perhaps for the development of stylistic and rhythmic similarities, comparable themes, motifs, and parallel ideas embedded in Black Atlantic texts. I argue that the use of intertextuality was a reciprocal activity among these writers and movements, therefore suggests an intentional doing, and establish the idea of mutual influence, interpenetration, and interindependence. This essay suggests viewing Black internationalism within the rhetoric of Black Transnational Consciousness (BTC) as a cross-cultural dialogue and transnational practice between Black Atlantic writers and intellectuals. Briefly, black transnational consciousness seeks to demonstrate how and why the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Haitian Indigenism, and Negritude are connected through intellectual influence and interdependence, literary linkages and parallelisms, and through direct and indirect participation and collaboration in the production of a black Atlantic print culture foregrounding “the themes of the African diaspora” in ways that few other writers—or racial and ethnic communities—have not done in the twentieth century (Hanchard 117).

Keywords: Negritude, Haitian Indigenism, Negritude, Black Internationalism, Black Transnational Consciousness model, Black Diasporic Text, Jacques Roumain, Leopold Sedar Sneghor, Leon Damas, Jean Price-Mars