Internalized Racial Oppression In La Négresse Blanche
This thesis examines Mayotte Capécia’s Novel La Negresse Blanche. La Négresse Blanche tracks a progression of racial consciousness beginning with a rejection of blackness and ending with a desire for racial equality and a shift toward national consciousness and unity. Capecia’s writing explores history and self through a colonial lens and offers us the sometimes wry narrative exploration of internalized racial oppression through fictionalized lived experience. While Capécia herself is mentioned in anthologies of Antillean literature, there remains little research on La Négresse Blanche. This paper highlights the importance of a perspective neglected in scholarship of the Antilles. As a piece of literature, it is an early examination of colonialism in the Antilles, informing our reading of other literature of the Antilles, global literature, and sociological and psychological understandings of identity formation and internalized racial oppression. Historical misreading (like that of Frantz Fanon in his book Peau Noir Masques Blancs) and neglect of Capécia’s writing denies the possibility for unearthing the striking site-specific politics that predate authors like Maryse Condé and Edwidge Danticat, offering us a necessary view into the Vichy period in Martinique.