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Paulette Nardal: Google Doodle celebrates Martinican-French writer’s 125th birthday

Google Doodle celebrates the 125th birthday of Martinican-French writer Paulette Nardal, who is generally viewed as one of the founders of Négritude, an intellectual movement produced by Black artists and journalists who participated in solidarity to champion their cultural heritage and carve out space in the predominant literary world for Black voices, on October 12, 2021.

Who was Paulette Nardal?

Paulette Nardal
Paulette Nardal

Paulette Nardal was born on October 12, 1896 in Saint-Pierre, a French colonial town on the Caribbean island of Martinique into the middle class on Martinique. Nardal became a teacher and went to finish her education in Paris.

Paulette Nardal was a French author from Martinique, a columnist, and one of the drivers of the advancement of black literary awareness. She was one of the authors engaged with the production of the Négritude genre and acquainted French intellectuals from the Harlem Renaissance through her translations.

Paulette Nardal was the first black person to study at the Sorbonne and set up an influential literary Le Salon de Clamart with her sisters which explored the experiences of the African diaspora.

Paulette Nardal went with the same pattern and set up her very own exploring tradition when she showed up in Paris in 1920 and became the first Black woman from Martinique to select at the city’s esteemed university, La Sorbonne, procuring a graduate degree in English.

During the 1920s, members of the French Black community, many being West Indian immigrants like Nardal, regularly confronted extraordinary racial separation. Paulette Nardal and her sister Jane opened a Paris salon called Le Salon de Clamart in 1929 as an intellectual meeting ground to think about the Black condition.

Known for its friendliness and tastefulness, the very much selected salon permitted Nardal to assemble smart people for discussion and mutual help. Researchers acknowledge this salon as the origin of the Négritude development, which Nardal helped start by composing social commentary articles in the review journal “La Revue du monde noir” (“The Review of the Black World”).

One more significant moment of Paulette Nardal’s life happened toward the start of World War II. Nardal left Martinique for France however experienced a long lasting physical issue when a submarine assaulted her boat.

Paulette Nardal’s interest for France to perceive her as a non military personnel war casualty and survivor features the convergence of race, gender, disability, and citizenship. This event eventually inspired Nardal to set up associations and newspapers empowering educated women to channel their energies into social improvement and testimonial.

Paulette Nardal rose to noticeable quality through her compositions and encouraged an international community of Black ladies who separated hindrances across race, class, and educational status.

In acknowledgment of her binding together work, Paulette Nardal was elected as a delegate to the United Nations in 1946 and was awarded the Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1976, the country’s highest honor.

There is the Promenade Jane-et-Paulette Nardal situated on 100 rue Didot in Paris, and a plaque honors Nardal’s heritage in the Paris suburb of Clamart, where her salon catalyzed an international movement.

On October 12, Google featured a Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Paulette Nardal’s 125th Birthday. Google Doodle is represented by Amsterdam, Netherlands-based guest artist Jessica Coppet.

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