Assembly/AU/ Tribute (XI) TRIBUTE TO LATE AIME CESAIRE, POET AND HUMANIST FROM MARTINIQUE We, Heads of State and Government, meeting in the 11th Ordinary Session of our Assembly, deeply saddened by the departure of our brother Aimé Césaire on 17 April 2008 at age 94, hereby pay a special tribute to the memory of one of the greatest humanists in modern times, to the memory of the man who devoted his entire life struggling relentlessly and fearlessly against slavery and colonialism, and for the emancipation of black people around the world. We, recognize with deep appreciation the action and work of Aimé Césaire; his denunciation of the former slave masters seeking to maintain our people in the shackles of psychological bondage, we salute his unswerving show of solidarity towards Africa as well as his valuable contribution to our continent's struggle to free herself from the yoke of colonialism. Our brother Aimé Césaire, who was a uniquely talented poet turned politician, maintained brotherly relations with the Late Leopold Sedar Senghor, the former President of Senegal with whom he crafted the concept of "Negritude" that will forever remain the hallmark of their action against prejudice and for the defense of the cultural and spiritual values of black people everywhere; a concept that turns into positive all the negative connotation that some people want to associate to the word "Negro" out of sheer prejudice. We salute the courage and selflessness of late Aimé Césaire who, despite the intimidation, the harassment and the isolation which he was subjected to by those who disliked his ideas, has never given up on his strong desire and determination to uphold the values, the rights and the freedom of black people. For his action and for his work, we avail ourselves of this opportunity to pay a solemn and well deserved tribute to Aimé Césaire, a brother and a great humanist whose countless writings will, no doubt, inspire future generations in their quest for justice and equality.

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