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 LéopoldSenghor. 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
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'.
profound exploration of the power of that gaze to alienate mind
Fanon also engages with the Negritude writers, LéopoldSenghor, 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
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 LeopoldSenghor were rebelling against French political
control, preparing the way for both ‘self-determination and the
federation of all West African
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.
Nyerere of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Hastings Banda of Malawi, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Félix Houphouet-Boigny of Côte d’Ivoire and LéopoldSenghor 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
black world’. Building on the intellectual precedents established
by an earlier generation of black intellectuals, including LeopoldSenghor 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
’s LéopoldSenghor 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
Last chance for a French African ‘empire-state’ or blueprint for decolonisation?
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 LéopoldSenghor 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
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 LéopoldSenghor, 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