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Poet-President of Négritude
Abiola Irele

. The term Négritude was later invented – as Senghor himself acknowledged – by the Martinican poet Aimé Césaire to designate the further reaches of these developments. In this respect, it is indeed curious that, though he did not invent the term, the concept of Négritude has come to be so closely associated with Léopold Senghor. It is instructive as a matter of historical record to recall the friendship between Senghor and Césaire, which began in the 1930s while they were both students at the Lycée Louis le Grand in Paris. This friendship led to a fruitful and

in The Pan-African Pantheon
Writers in a common cause

Across the continent of Africa, a web of laws silenced African speech. On the eve of World War II, a small, impoverished group of Africans and West Indians in London dared to imagine the end of British rule in Africa. Printing gave oppositions a voice, initially through broadsheets, tracts, pamphlets, later through books and articles. The group launched an anti-colonial campaign that used publishing as a pathway to liberation. These writers included West Indians George Padmore, C. L. R. James, and Ras Makonnen, Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta and Sierra Leone's I. T. A. Wallace Johnson. They formed a part of International African Service Bureau (IASB), and the communists saw them as "generals without an army, they have no base and must depend on their pens". Padmore saw 'trusteeship' as a concept invoked as far back as the late nineteenth-century conferences that divided up Africa. Pan-Africa, a monthly periodical T. Ras Makonnen put out, reported that Richard Wright urged his listeners to form an international network of 'cultured progressives'. Labour-powered nationalism was to Padmore more than a drive for self-government. With the Gold Coast political ground so unsettled, neither Nkrumah nor the Convention People's Party (CPP) made Wright privy to their operations. Inspired by the movement for self-government in British West African colonies, French radicals like Leopold Senghor were rebelling against French political control. In 1969, when a small American publisher reissued A History of Pan-African Revolt , James added to it an epilogue explaining the 'rapid decline of African nationalism'.

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Max Silverman

is a profound exploration of the power of that gaze to alienate mind and body. Fanon also engages with the Negritude writers, Léopold Senghor, Aimé Césaire and others, and their challenge to white oppression of Blacks. Here, too, Fanon’s position oscillates between intellectual critique and emotional empathy. The ambiguities in the text that arise from this slippage of languages are further reinforced when we view Fanon’s reflections on black and white writings on race in the context of his own unconscious fears and desires. For example, Fanon’s treatment of the

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
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Carol Polsgrove

of ‘closer association’ without any promise of self-government. The French would remain in firm control of this ‘indivisible French Union’. Inspired by the movement for self-government in British West African colonies, however, French radicals like Leopold Senghor were rebelling against French political control, preparing the way for both ‘self-determination and the federation of all West African

in Ending British rule in Africa

This collection of lively biographical essays examines historical and contemporary Pan-Africanism as an ideology of emancipation and unity. The volume covers thirty-six major figures, including well-known Pan-Africanists such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Amy Ashwood Garvey, C.L.R. James, George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, Frantz Fanon, Steve Biko, and Thabo Mbeki, as well as popular figures not typically identified with mainstream Pan-Africanism such as Maya Angelou, Mariama Bâ, Buchi Emecheta, Miriam Makeba, Ruth First, Wangari Maathai, Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, V.Y. Mudimbe, Léopold Senghor, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. The book explores the history and pioneers of the movement; the quest for reparations; politicians; poets; activists; as well as Pan-Africanism in the social sciences, philosophy, literature, and its musical activists. With contributions from a diverse and prominent group of African, Caribbean, and African-American scholars, The Pan-African Pantheon is a comprehensive and diverse introductory reader for specialists and general readers alike.

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“A Great African, But Not a Great Ghanaian”?
Ama Biney

Nyerere of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Hastings Banda of Malawi, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Félix Houphouet-Boigny of Côte d’Ivoire and Léopold Senghor of Senegal – all established their own forms of one-party state and did not need to look to Ghana as their template for doing so. American scholar Aristide Zolberg contends that newly developing nations like Ghana confronted colossal burdens and expectations on the eve of independence that were not only psychological and sociological, but also cultural. 19 In the 1950s and 1960s, the

in The Pan-African Pantheon
Open Access (free)
Mary Chamberlain

black world’. Building on the intellectual precedents established by an earlier generation of black intellectuals, including Leopold Senghor from Senegal and Aimé Césaire of Martinique, Présence africaine became not only ‘a publishing enterprise but an intellectual group and a cultural movement’. 19 ‘Culture’, as Senghor argued, ‘is at once the basis and the ultimate aim of politics.’ 20

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
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African Identity and the African Condition
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni

’s Léopold Senghor played an active role in the invention of an African identity, using such means as the First All-African People’s Conference held in Accra, Ghana, in December 1958 to “re-member” Africa after its “dismemberment” at the Berlin Conference of 1884–5. 11 African nationalism and Pan-Africanism thus provided the discursive framework for Africans on the continent and in its diaspora to invent themselves as one people. African Identity and the “Triple Heritage” But to Ethiopian scholar Seifudein Adem

in The Pan-African Pantheon
Last chance for a French African ‘empire-state’ or blueprint for decolonisation?
Martin Shipway

their gradual resolution may be traced through the period of implementation to March 1957: the question of the relative priority to be given to reform at territorial and at federal level; and the composition and powers of the eventual Councils of Government. The first of these questions inevitably revolves around the charge of ‘balkanisation’ first made by Léopold Senghor in the National Assembly debate on the first reading of the Loi-Cadre, in March 1956.14 Although that accusation prejudged the issue to some degree, it underlines the extent to which the Loi

in Francophone Africa at fifty
John McLeod

could occasionally contend with some of Negritude’s assumptions. Negritude has been influential in Africa, the Caribbean and America as a mode which enables oppressed peoples to imagine themselves as a particular and united collective. Today it is most often associated with the work of two Francophone writers and statesmen, Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor, although they were not its only exponents. As we shall see, Negritude worked with many of the central tenets of the ‘myth of the nation’. One of its aims was to unite peoples living in different places through a

in Beginning postcolonialism (second edition)