By Franklin Rosemont, Robin D.G. Kelley
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Extra resources for Black, Brown, & Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora (The Surrealist Revolution)
Cunard’s central aims were to right the record on black history and to celebrate the creative richness and diversity of black culture around the world. Cunard also devoted much space to articles condemning white supremacy, imperialism, and racial discrimination in all its forms. Particularly important in this regard is the surrealist tract “Murderous Humanitarianism,” signed by the entire Paris Surrealist Group, including the Martinicans Jules Monnerot and Pierre Yoyotte. Negro Anthology is also notable for its abundance of original material on the West Indies, with features on Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, and Puerto Rico.
However disappointing Monnerot turned out to be in the end (he was for several years a vigorous supporter of neofascist National Front leader JeanMarie Le Pen), the fact remains that his early contributions to surrealism were by no means negligible, and indeed are his best work. Juan Breá and Mary Low: A Surrealist Duo on the Go In 1933–1934, sometime between the unexpected appearance of Légitime Défense and the equally sudden advent of L’Étudiant Noir, yet another important manifestation of surrealism and black insurgency burst on the Paris scene with the arrival of Cuban poet and revolutionary Juan Breá and his Australian companion, Mary Low.
While waiting for a ship to take him and his friends to the New World, he helped invent a new surrealist game—known as the Marseilles Game—which involved the creation of a new deck of cards. Lam designed two of the cards (Alice in Wonderland and Lautréamont) and also provided a series of splendid ink drawings for Breton’s long poem Fata Morgana, which was promptly banned by the Vichy government’s censor. It was later published in 32 Black, Brown, & Beige Spanish in Buenos Aires. 28 Over the years Lam also illustrated books by many other surrealists, including Aimé Césaire, René Char, Alain Jouffroy, Gherasim Luca, Pierre Mabille, Clément Magloire-Saint-Aude, Claude Tarnaud, and François Valorbe.