Damas, Léon-Gontran, 1912-1978

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1912-03-28
Death 1978-01-22
French
English, French, Portuguese

Biographical notes:

Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, in 1912, Léon-Gontran Damas was a poet, journalist, educator and statesman who co-founded the Négritude literary movement in the 1930's with the Matinique born poet Aimé Césaire and the Senegalese author and statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor. Damas studied modern oriental languages, literature, history and ethnology, and began his career in journalism and literature in Paris in the 1930's. His first volume of poems, Pigments, appeared in 1937. He served briefly in the French army during the Second World War, and joined the French Resistance after his demobilization. Elected representative of Guiana to the French Parliament after the war, he was appointed to the High Court of Justice and served as Rapporteur of a parliamentary commission to the Ivory Coast in 1949. During the 1950's and 1960's, he lectured and traveled extensively in the Caribbean and Latin America, where he studied the influence of African culture in the New World. Appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at Howard University in 1970, he lectured extensively at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada until his death in 1978.

From the guide to the The Leon Gontran Damas Sound Recording Collection [sound recording], (The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.)

Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, in 1912, Léon-Gontran Damas was a poet, journalist, educator and statesman who co-founded the Négritude literary movement in the 1930s with the Matinique born poet Aimé Césaire and the Senegalese author and statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor.

Damas studied modern oriental languages, literature, history and ethnology, and began his career in journalism and literature in Paris in the 1930s. His first volume of poems, Pigments, appeared in 1937. He served briefly in the French army during the Second World War, and joined the French Resistance after his demobilization. Elected representative of Guiana to the French Parliament after the war, he was appointed to the High Court of Justice and served as Rapporteur of a parliamentary commission to the Ivory Coast in 1949. During the 1950s and 1960s, he lectured and traveled extensively in the Caribbean and Latin America, where he studied the influence of African culture in the New World. Appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at Howard University in 1970, he lectured extensively at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada until his death in 1978.

Damas's other works include: Retour de Guyane (1938), Veilleés Noires (1944), Poèmes Nègres sur des Airs Africains (1947), Graffiti (1952), Black Label (1956) and Névralgies (1966). He also edited two volumes of poetry: Poètes Noirs d'Expression Française (1947) and Nouvelle Somme de Poésie du Monde Noir (1966). His work has been translated in English, German, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. He was awarded the Prix Caraib̤es in 1970. He died in Washington, D.C. in 1978.

From the description of Léon-Gontran Damas papers, 1949-1978. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122571003

Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, in 1912, Léon-Gontran Damas was a poet, journalist, educator and statesman who co-founded the Négritude literary movement in the 1930s with the Matinique born poet Aimé Césaire and the Senegalese author and statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor. Damas studied modern oriental languages, literature, history and ethnology, and began his career in journalism and literature in Paris in the 1930s. His first volume of poems, Pigments, appeared in 1937. He served briefly in the French army during the Second World War, and joined the French Resistance after his demobilization. Elected representative of Guiana to the French Parliament after the war, he was appointed to the High Court of Justice and served as Rapporteur of a parliamentary commission to the Ivory Coast in 1949. During the 1950s and 1960s, he lectured and traveled extensively in the Caribbean and Latin America, where he studied the influence of African culture in the New World. Appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at Howard University in 1970, he lectured extensively at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada until his death in 1978.

Damas's other works include: Retour de Guyane (1938), Veilleés Noires (1944), Poèmes Nègres sur des Airs Africains (1947), Graffiti (1952), Black Label (1956) and Névralgies (1966). He also edited two volumes of poetry: Poètes Noirs d'Expression Française (1947) and Nouvelle Somme de Poésie du Monde Noir (1966). His work has been translated in English, German, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. He was awarded the Prix Carai̤bes in 1970. He died in Washington, D.C. in 1978.

From the guide to the Léon-Gontran Damas papers, 1949-1978, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.)

Loading...

Loading Relationships

Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6892k40
Ark ID:
w6892k40
SNAC ID:
3806726

Subjects:

  • Authors, Senegalese--20th century
  • Brazilian poetry--History and criticism
  • Statesmen
  • Race awareness in literature
  • Blacks--France--Social life and customs
  • French poetry--Black authors
  • Teachers, Black--United States
  • Blacks in literature
  • Creole dialects, French--Texts
  • French poetry--Black authors--Translations into English
  • Creole dialects, French--Haiti--Texts
  • Negritude (Literary movement)
  • Caribbean literature (French)--History and criticism
  • Poets, Guadeloupe--20th century
  • African literature (French)--Studies and teaching--United States
  • Black author
  • Blacks--Race identity
  • French poetry--Black authors--Translation into English
  • Authors and publishers
  • Latin American literature--History and criticism
  • Authors, Martinican--20th century
  • African Americans--Intellectual life--20th century
  • Literature--Black authors--History and criticism
  • Poets, French Guianese
  • Poets, Black--France
  • Blacks--Race identity--West Indies, French
  • African literature (French)--Studies and teaching
  • Blacks--West Indies, French--Race identity

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • French Guiana (as recorded)
  • West Indies, French (as recorded)
  • French Guiana (as recorded)
  • Haiti (as recorded)
  • French Guiana (as recorded)