An Enduring Paradigm of Resistance

The Resurgence of Negritude in Contemporary Black Portuguese Poetry

  • Ayodeji Richard Olugbuyiro The Ohio State University
Keywords: Negritude, Afro-Portuguese poetry, Black resistance, Portugal, Djidiu


While Negritude is certainly the major ideological underpinning that inspired poetry of Black intellectuals opposing racial subjugation in the twentieth century, its relevance in postcolonial times has been a subject of contention. The reasons for this include harsh criticisms of its essentialist character in the latter part of the twentieth-century, and the presupposition of an improved reality for Blacks globally with the conclusion of colonialism. However, I argue in this article that considering the unfavorable racial experiences of Blacks in the white-dominated Portuguese society, Negritude-informed tropes have seen a resurgence in contemporary Black Portuguese poetry—even though its perspective has changed from strict focus on an essentialized Africa to an assertion of African identity within the space of the former metropole. Analyzing  Djidiu: A herança do ouvido(2017), I demonstrate the reappearance and overlap of themes of older-generation Negritude to confirm that the Negritude ethos continues to inspire contemporary Black Portuguese poetry.