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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Negritude, started in France in the 1930s, was a literary movement started by Black individuals who were fighting a few modern social norms.  These were mostly intellectuals - writers and politicians. First, they spoke against French colonial racism.  On the bigger picture though, they were fighting social, moral, and political domination of the west (basically, American attitudes and ideals as so-called global model).

What began as a movement in France of course ended up motivating people throughout the world.  The term negritude then took on a meaning as it defined the literature that came out of the movement.  In this way, this literary movement in France was similar to the Harlem Renaissance in America.  The underlying but dominant message behind the movement was that black people were not inferior to white people.  Further, fully embracing the African heritage is what would provide the power for oppressed and once-enslaved black people to finally escape from the "less-than" place the white-man had put them in.

The term Negritude came to describe a full commitment to and embodiment of the black race.