Leon Damas was born in French Guiana in 1912. A poet, cultural critic, and advocate for racial consciousness, he co-founded the black literary movement Negritude. Over the course of his career, Damas published 10 books of poetry and prose, including his debut poetry collection Pigments (1937). Damas received the French Commemorative Medal for the Liberation of 1945, and served in the French Assembly as deputy from Guiana and as a delegate of the Société Africaine de Culture at UNESCO. He died in Washington, D.C., in 1978.
Audio Recordings with Léon Damas
- Léon Damas reading his poems in French and Sterling Brown reading the English translations, in the Recording Laboratory, June 7, 1973