martinique-flag_web.jpgFORT-DE-FRANCE (PRNewswire) – The Toni Morrison Society placed a Bench by the Road in Fort-de-France, Martinique, June 26, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of writer Aime Cesaire. The bench is part of the year-long celebration and commemoration of Cesaire in Martinique, France and throughout the world.

Born in Basse-Pointe, June 26, 1913, Cesaire was an early proponent of black pride, dedicating his life to the struggle against colonialism and its racial stereotypes and the fight to bring French overseas territories equal status as regions of France.
The memorial project was established by the society to honor an individual, place or event that is of great importance in the history of the African Diaspora.  The project was launched in 2006 on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. Since then the society has placed 10 benches in various locations, including Sullivan’s Island off the cost of South Carolina, which was the point of entry for 40 percent of enslaved Africans who were brought to North America, the city of Oberlin in Ohio, which was part of the Underground Railroad, and Paris, in honor of Louis Delgres, a French  general and freedom fighter for Guadeloupe.
A plaque on the bench honoring Cesaire reads, “This Bench placed in honor of the 100th birthday of Aime Cesaire, son of Martinique and world renowned poet, playwright, author, teacher, anti-colonialist, and political leader.”
Cesaire died on April 17, 2008 in Fort-de-France.