International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

René Depestre (1926–) was a Haitian writer, poet and essayist. In 1945, he founded the opposition newspaper La Ruche with his friends J. S. Alexis, T. Baker and G. Bloncourt, of which he was editor-in-chief. Together, they were to be the driving force behind the student movement that triggered the “1946 Revolution” in Haiti. In exile in Paris, Depestre forged links with numerous literary and political figures in Europe and the Americas. An anti-colonialist and Marxist, he contributed to the journal Présence africaine. Expelled from France, he began a journey that took him from Czechoslovakia to Chile, then to Brazil and back to France, before returning to Haiti in 1957. An opponent of François Duvalier and his “noiriste” theories, he moved to Cuba in March 1959 and lived there until 1978. It was there that he forged his critique of the concept of negritude, a major contribution to Caribbean anthropological debates. He then moved to France and worked at UNESCO. He is the author of numerous essays, novels and poetry collections.

Keywords: Decolonisation | Negritude | Pan-Africanism | Second half of the 20th century | 21st century | Cuba | Haiti

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