Abstract : This paper builds on the encounter(s) between Haitian writer and anthropologist Jacques Roumain and French Guyanese intellectual Léon-Gontran Damas, and tries to shed light on the intellectual networks that inspired the practice of anthropology in the French-speaking Black Americas in the 1930-1940s. The Institut d’Ethnologie de Paris, where Roumain and Damas studied, had a big influence on their own idea of anthropology. But Damas and Roumain were also active members of black intellectual networks on both sides of the Atlantic. These networks where connected with antifascist and antiracist groups of intellectuals but also with surrealism groups. Within these linkages, Haiti played a special role. Damas and Roumain saw anthropology as a tool for their project of improving the status of the black cultures and popular cultures. From their viewpoints of intellectuals from colonized countries and their refusal of assimilation, they took part in an in-depth reinterpretation of the discipline.