Skip to product information
1 of 2

Minor Canon

Césaire tee

Regular price $19.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $19.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Aimé Césaire (1913 – 2008) was a French Martinican poet, author, and politician. He was one of the founders of the Négritude movement in Francophone literature and coined the word négritude in French. He founded the Parti progressiste martiniquais in 1958, and served in the French National Assembly from 1958 to 1993 and as President of the Regional Council of Martinique from 1983 to 1988.

His works include the book-length poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (1939), Une Tempête, a response to Shakespeare's play The Tempest, and Discours sur le colonialisme (Discourse on Colonialism), an essay describing the strife between colonizers and the colonized. At the Lycée Schoelcher in Fort-de-France, he taught Frantz Fanon, becoming a great influence for Fanon as both a mentor and contemporary.

In 1941, Aimé Césaire and Suzanne Roussi founded the literary review Tropiques, with the help of other Martinican intellectuals. He also became close to French surrealist poet André Breton, who spent time in Martinique during the war. (The two had met in 1940, and Breton later would champion Cesaire's work.)

In 1947, his book-length poem Cahier d'un retour au pays natal was published, mixing poetry and prose to express Césaire's thoughts on the cultural identity of black Africans in a colonial setting. Breton contributed a laudatory introduction to this 1947 edition, saying that the "poem is nothing less than the greatest lyrical monument of our times." When asked about his writing style, Césaire replied by saying that "Surrealism provided me with what I had been confusedly searching for."

Like many left-wing intellectuals in 1930s and 1940s France, Césaire looked toward the Soviet Union as a source of progress, virtue, and human rights. He later grew disillusioned with the Soviet Union after the 1956 suppression of the Hungarian revolution. In 1958 Césaire founded the Parti Progressiste Martiniquais. With the party, he dominated the island’s political scene for the last half of the century. Césaire declined to renew his mandate as deputy in the National Assembly in 1993, after a 47-year continuous term.

Césaire's writings reflect his passion for civic and social engagement. He wrote Discours sur le colonialisme (Discourse on Colonialism), a denunciation of European colonial racism, decadence, and hypocrisy, in 1955 (English translation 1957). He died in 2008.

All profits from this item will be donated to Solidarité sans frontières | Solidarity Across Borders.

• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (Heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz/yd² (142 g/m²)
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• Side-seamed construction
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
• Blank product sourced from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, or the US


Size guide

XS (inches) 27 16 ½
S (inches) 28 18
M (inches) 29 20
L (inches) 30 22
XL (inches) 31 24
2XL (inches) 32 26
3XL (inches) 33 28
4XL (inches) 34 30
5XL (inches) 35 31


XS (cm) 68.6 42
S (cm) 71.1 45.7
M (cm) 73.7 50.8
L (cm) 76.2 55.9
XL (cm) 78.7 61
2XL (cm) 81.3 66
3XL (cm) 83.8 71.1
4XL (cm) 86.4 76.2
5XL (cm) 89 78.7