Beyond Negritude

Essays from Woman in the City

By Paulette Nardal
Translated by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
Introduction by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
Notes by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting

Subjects: French Studies, African Studies, Gender Studies, Philosophy, Political Theory
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race
Paperback : 9781438429465, 119 pages, September 2009
Hardcover : 9781438429472, 119 pages, September 2009

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Introduction: On Race, Rights, and Women
T. Denean SharpleyWhiting
Paulette Nardal’s Woman in the City
Annotated Translation by T. Denean SharpleyWhiting

1. Woman in the City (January 1945)
2. Setting the Record Straight (February 1945)
3. From an Electoral Point of View (March 1945)
4. Poverty Does Not Wait (May 1945)
5. Martinican Women and Social Action (October 1945)
6. And Now, What Are Our Objectives? (November 1945)
7. To Work (February 1946)
8. Martinican Women and Politics (July 1946)
9. Facing History (October 1946)
10. Abstention: A Social Crime (November 1946)
11. United Nations (January 1947)
12. About a Crime (October 1948)
13. On Intellectual Laziness (November 1948)
14. Editorial (July 1951) Selected Bibliography of Paulette Nardal’s Writings

Key text never before in English by central figure of the Negritude movement.


In the aftermath of World War II, Paulette Nardal, the Martinican woman most famously associated with the Negritude movement and its founders Aimé Césaire, Léopold Senghor, and Léon Damas during Paris's interwar years, founded the journal Woman in the City. This annotated translation, with an introduction and essay summaries by T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, collects work from that journal, and presents it in both the original French and in English. Never before translated, these essays represent a lens through which to view the evolution of Nardal's intellectual thought on race, gender, politics, globalization, war, religion, and philosophy. The journal's arrival announced Martinican women entering the public sphere—the city—and from its internationalist perspectives, the world stage where they would take up their responsibilities as citizens of their little island and the greater French Republic. Published from 1945 to 1951, it was, with its Christian humanist undertones and feminist inclinations, the first theologically and philosophically woman-centered liberationist journal in print.

T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting is Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and Professor of French at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of several books, including Negritude Women and the Emily Toth Award–winning Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women, and the editor of The Speech: Race and Barack Obama's "A More Perfect Union."


"This is an exciting, comprehensive, and timely recovery of Paulette Nardal's work beyond her engagement with the Negritude movement." — Ewa PÂonowska Ziarek, coeditor of Revolt, Affect, Collectivity: The Unstable Boundaries of Kristeva's Polis