Senghor, Léopold Sédar (Contemporary Literary Criticism)
Léopold Sédar Senghor 1906-
（Also has written under pseudonyms Silmang Diamano and Patrice Maguilene Kaymor） Senegalese poet, essayist, nonfiction writer, and editor.
The following entry presents an overview of Senghor's career through 1996. See also Leopold Sedar Senghor Poetry Criticism.
One of the preeminent African intellectuals of the twentieth century, Senegalese poet and statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor is hailed as a powerful voice of postwar black cultural pride and self-determination. A leading proponent of negritude, a literary movement based on the repudiation of Western imperialism and the reclamation of Pan-African heritage, Senghor was instrumental in the cultivation of postcolonial aesthetics and black racial consciousness. His acclaimed verse in Chants d'ombre （1945）, Hosties noires （1948）, Ethiopiques （1956）, and Nocturnes （1962） celebrates the cultural legacy of Africa while attempting to reconcile his affinity for European civilization with the devastating effects of its colonial policies. The recipient of numerous international honors and the first black person to be elected to the prestigious French Academy, Senghor was the first president of modern Senegal, a political position he served with distinction from 1960 to 1980.
Born in Joal, a predominantly Muslim district near the port city of Dakar in French West Africa, Senghor was one of two dozen children belonging to his father, a wealthy peanut farmer and exporter. Senghor was raised Roman Catholic by his mother, one of his father's several wives, and received his early education at mission schools. In 1922 he began studies at a junior seminary in Dakar where he studied Greek and Latin classics for four years. After his rejection as a candidate for the priesthood, he enrolled at the Lycée of Dakar where he won recognition as a brilliant student and graduated in 1928 with high honors and a scholarship to study in France. Though his traditional French education encouraged him to abandon his native roots, Senghor's exposure to the indigenous culture of his Serer ethnic ancestors exerted a lasting impression upon him during his formative years. While in Paris, Senghor came under the literary influence of the French symbolists, poets Paul Claudel and St. John Perse, and surrealist André Breton. He also encountered West Indian students Aimé Césaire and Léon Damas who introduced him to the works of W. E. B. DuBois and Harlem Renaissance writers Claude McKay, Countee McCullen, and Langston Hughes. In 1933 Senghor became the first African to graduate from the Sorbonne with the agrégé de grammaire, the highest distinction of the French educational system. The next year Senghor, along with Césaire and Damas, co-founded L'étudiant noir, a journal devoted to black francophone literature and the elaboration of negritude, a term coined by Césaire. Upon the outbreak of World War II Senghor was called into service in the French Colonial Infantry. He was captured the next year during the German occupation of France and spent the next two years in a Nazi prison camp; he was subsequently awarded several military honors. After his release in 1942, he returned to teaching at the Lycée Marcelin Berthelot near Paris, participated in the French Resistance, and became increasingly active in politics.
The publication of Chants d'ombre in 1945 established him as a prominent spokesperson of negritude. Two years later he co-founded the literary journal Présence africaine with Alioune Diop. In 1946 Senghor married Ginette Eboue, the daughter of a Guyanese administrator; they divorced in 1956 and Senghor married Colette Hubert the next year. Senghor was elected as a delegate to the French National Assembly in 1946, founded the socialist party Bloc Démocratique Sénégalais in 1948, and held a succession of political posts in the French and Senegalese government until 1958. He presided over the legislative body of the Mali Federation, a Senegal-Sudan alliance that declared independence from France in 1959. When Senegal withdrew from the federation the next year, Senghor was elected as the first president of the newly established Republic of Senegal. Despite several attempted coups and civil unrest in Senegal during the late 1960s, Senghor was reelected in 1968 and 1973. During his two decades as president, he worked to stabilize Senegalese national politics, enact economic reforms, and establish a democratic socialist government. He sponsored the First World Festival of Negro Arts in 1966 and headed the formation of the West African Economic Community in 1974. Senghor resigned from office in 1980, becoming the first postcolonial African head of state to peacefully transfer power to a successor. Senghor has received numerous honorary degrees and in 1983 was named one of the forty “immortals” of the Académie Française.
As the leading theoretician of negritude, Senghor's poetry and prose is in large part an embodiment of the movement's evolving ideology—artistic, political, social, and economic—during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Rejecting the notion of European supremacy and the forced assimilation of Western culture among colonized Africans, Senghor and other negritude writers, mainly French-speaking African and Caribbean writers, sought to inspire renewed pride in the rich history and cultural tradition of Africa. Senghor's first poetry collection, Chants d'ombre （variously translated as “Songs of Shadow,” “Shadow Songs,” or “Songs of Darkness”）, expresses his feelings of exile, cultural estrangement, aversion to the bondage of colonialism, and nostalgia for the African paradise of his childhood and ancestors. Though stylistically influenced by contemporary French poetry and the irrational imagery of surrealism, Senghor's trademark verse merges European forms and allusions with the language and spiritual motifs of African folk song. The controlled, musical rhythms and long, annunciatory lines of his poems, often prefaced with instructions for accompanying instruments, evoke the sounds and atmosphere of his native land and people. Chants d'ombre contains several of his best-known poems, including “Nuit de Sine” （“Night of Sine”）, “Neige sur Paris” （“Snow Upon Paris”）, “Masque négre” （“Black Masks”）, and “Femme noir” （“Black Woman”）, an exuberant paean to the beauty of African womanhood.
The poems of Hosties noires （“Black Sacrifice”）, many of which were composed during his wartime captivity, signal Senghor's growing sense of purpose and racial identity. Several of these, such as “Aux soldats Negro-Americains” （“To the American Negro Soldiers”） and “Désespoir d'un volontaire libre” （“Despair of a Free Volunteer”） extol the dignity of the African-American, West Indian, and Senegalese soldiers he befriended during the war. These poems also display Senghor's increasingly strident attacks on French colonialism and racial exploitation. In “Prière de paix” （“Prayer for Peace”）, for example, he presents a litany of African degradation at the hands of unscrupulous and hypocritical Europeans, thinly tempered with a plea for divine forgiveness. Senghor also served as editor of Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malagache de langue française （1948）, a highly influential anthology of black francophone writers from Africa and the Caribbean. This volume, with its now famous introductory essay “Orphée noir” （“Black Orpheus”） by existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, became a defining work of the negritude movement. Senghor's third volume of poetry, Chants pour Naëtt （1949）, contains a series of love lyrics dedicated to his first wife. Here, as in other poems by Senghor, the female subject of the poet's affection serves as a metaphor for Mother Africa.
The poems of Ethiopiques, written during his early political involvement, evince Senghor's abiding desire to bridge opposing aspects of European and African culture. In the long poem “Chaka,” an adaptation of Thomas Mofolo's 1926 historical novel about a ruthless nineteenth-century Zulu chieftain, Senghor reflects upon the burdens of leadership, the necessity of sacrifice in the name of African unity, and his own persona as a “poet-politician.” In “New York” Senghor calls for an end to the city's racial division and acceptance of African-American culture as a regenerative force. Senghor's conciliatory sentiments are also evident in “Epîtres à la Princesse” （“Letters to a Princess”）, a sequence of poems describing an African man's romantic attachment to a European princess, representing an allegorical union between North and South that mirrors Senghor's marriage to second wife Colette, a white Frenchwoman. Nocturnes, published a year after Senghor was elected president of Senegal, contains a revision of Chants pour Naëtt, retitled Chants pour Signare, and a series of elegies that explore the nature of poetry and the creative process. Senghor's subsequent volumes of poetry include: Lettres d'hivernage （1973）; Elégies majeures （1979）, which contains “Elégie des Alizés” （“Elegy of the Trade Winds”） and personal tributes to George Pompidou and Martin Luther King; and Oeuvres poétique （1991; The Collected Poetry）, the definitive edition of Senghor's poetry. Senghor has also produced a large body of commentary on literary, political, and social subjects, including the essay collection Ce que je crois （1988） and three volumes under the heading Liberté—Nation et voie africaine du socialisme （1961; On African Socialism）, Negritude et humanisme （1964; Negritude and Humanism）, and Négritude et civilisation de l'universel （1977）.
Senghor is widely acclaimed as a poet of remarkable intelligence, versatility, and compassion. Critics consistently praise his ability to synthesize elements of Western and African experience and to evoke universality in the archetypal imagery of his verse, exemplified by “Black Woman,” considered one of his finest early poems. His several major works from the 1940s and 1950s—Chants d'ombre, Hosties noires, Chants pour Naëtt, and Ethiopiques—are generally regarded as his most significant. He is also highly esteemed for his important work as editor of Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malagache de langue française, which, as K. Anthony Appiah notes, “remains one of the models of African and Afro-Caribbean literary achievement.” Critical evaluation of Senghor's poetry is inextricably linked to its basis in negritude, an ideology whose wide-reaching influence waned during the early 1960s, though reemerged in America as a progenitor of the Black Pride movement. While many commentators approve of Senghor's effort to relocate black self-identity and solidarity in traditional African culture, some regard the concept of negritude as a Western intellectual construct that misrepresents black experience and engenders its own harmful racism. In addition, Senghor's assimilation of French language and literature, as well as his Christian piety and remarriage to a white woman, have lead a minority of detractors to view his devotion to Africa with skepticism. However, as Ulli Beier asserts, “Senghor … is not merely a Frenchified African who tries to give exotic interest to his French poems; he is an African who uses the French language to express his African soul.” Viewed as a prophet of reconciliation—racial, cultural, and political—Senghor is internationally respected for his overriding humanism and important contributions to the literature and politics of modern Africa.
Chants d'ombre （poetry） 1945
Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malagache de langue française [editor] （poetry） 1948
Hosties noires （poetry） 1948
Chants pour Naëtt （poetry） 1949
Ethiopiques （poetry） 1956
Rapport sur la doctrine et le programme du parti [Report on the Principles and Programme of the Party; also published as African Socialism: A Report to the Constitutive Congress of the Party of African Federation] （prose） 1959
Léopold Sédar Senghor （poetry and prose） 1961
Nation et voie africaine du socialisme [also published as Liberté II: Nation et voie africaine du socialisme, 1971; translated as Nationhood and the African Road to Socialism and On African Socialism] （prose） 1961
Nocturnes （poetry） 1962
Liberté I: Négritude et humanisme [Freedom I: Negritude and Humanism] （prose） 1964
Poèmes （poetry） 1964
Selected Poems （poetry） 1964
Prose and Poetry （prose and poetry） 1965
Elégie des Alizés [illustrated by Marc Chagall] （poetry） 1969
Lettres d'hivernage [illustrated by Marc Chagall]...
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Newsweek （review date 27 July 1964）
SOURCE: “In Praise of Negritude,” in Newsweek, July 27, 1964, p. 80.
[In the following review, the critic offers praise for Senghor's Selected Poems.]
When a head of state so much as writes his own speeches, it is news; but when he writes a distinguished volume of poems, it is epochal. How often has it happened since King David?
Léopold Sédar Senghor is the President of the infant African Republic of Senegal, and a prominent theoretician who has contributed to black nationalism the world over one of its key terms and central concepts—négritude. Add to all this the fact that he is Africa's principal poet, and an important contemporary poet by any measure, and it is clear that the 58-year-old Senghor is perhaps the closest figure today to the Platonic ideal of the philosopher-king, the political leader who is also a thinker and artist. He is a figure unique in our time: and the American publication of his Selected Poems, translated from the original French, is a major event.
Like Walt Whitman, Senghor taps private sources deep within himself to discover in his experience the consciousness of his people and the drama of his continent. Blackness—“Negroness,” négritude—pervades his poems like ancestral spirits, but it is experienced, not as a stigma or predicament, but as a...
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SOURCE: “Singing Love Songs to a Continent,” in New York Herald Tribune Book Week, September 13, 1964, p. 18.
[In the following review, Brooks offers positive assessment of Senghor's Selected Poems.]
Leopold Sedar Senghor, President of the Republic of Senegal, says that he is black. He enjoys the fact. Beyond the simple certainty, he feels, is humanity—to which blackness, brownness, whiteness, yellowness must be secondary.
His I-am-a-black-man, broadcast in a heat-suffused voice, is not a defensive claim. He invites the world to audit his negritude, because the world seems interested. But he does not whine, he does not pant for alms or pity. For what is there, he would ask, in or under his skin that requires these nuisances? He does regret the chasms between man and man and he does rather believe that creative and public exchange is going to be possible.
As blazing company for this “blackness” urgency, Senghor has an assimilated respect for his art. He was happy to discover that he could sing. He was happy to discover himself in possession of a voice as remarkable for tenor flight as for baritone delve. He did not, however, let it go at that. He worked for technical subtlety. He achieved a language that is virile and beautiful; various, too, in spite of its firm devotion to Whitmanesque, abandon and straddle-stance. （Many of the verses are loved lassoes,...
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SOURCE: “Rolling Rhythms,” in New York Times Book Review, October 25, 1964, p. 54.
[In the following review, July offers praise for Senghor's Selected Poems.]
Leopold Senghor, Africa's most celebrated exponent of negritude, has nowhere stated his philosophy more eloquently than in his hundred-odd poems published at intervals since 1945. Yet these major works of the philosopher-statesman of Senegal have been relatively unknown outside the French-speaking world for lack of adequate translation. It is a pleasure, therefore, to welcome this volume which presents approximately one third of the poet's output in versions which are always careful and frequently as rich in imagery. If not quite as musical, as the originals.
The African quality of Senghor's poetry is easy to trace the rolling rhythms, the vivid evocation of smell, taste, and sound, the romantic dreamy sensuousness, the preoccupation with religion and the supernatural, the insistence on intuitive experience and sympathetic logic, and the ultimate appeal to nature in all its forms.
All this is poised against the materialist, irreligious, rationalist, machine-made West and the lesson is implicit: civilization can only be saved by cleaving to the essential truths of human existence still preserved in Africa. But this does not adequately explain Senghor's poetry which owes at least as much to the West as to...
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SOURCE: “Négritude and Black Writers,” in African Literature in the Twentieth Century, University of Minnesota Press, 1974, pp. 217-48.
[In the following excerpt, Dathorne discusses Senghor's interpretation of negritude, ancestral archetypes, and the intersection of Western and African influences in his poetry.]
As has been suggested so far, négritude like Pan-Africanism was a Caribbean sickness. Only people unfamiliar with the norms of tribal life could have diagnosed in such wide conceptual terms a myth of the heart and boldly prescribed such an imaginative recovery. Senghor was Senegalese; he learned his négritude from deraciné West Indians, but to it he brought something new—the novelty of the initiated. He alone knew; they could only hazard guesses. Therefore it was in the language of Césaire and Damas that Senghor wrote that “those who colonised us justified our political and economic independence by the theory of tabula rasa. We had, they assessed, invented nothing, written nothing. We had neither carved, painted nor sung.” Senghor adds that it was impossible to return to what he considered the sources of négritude and that the time of the Songhai Empire and of Chaka had passed. “We were students in Paris and students of the twentieth century,” and this conflict is present in Senghor's verse from the very start. His evocations of Africa are in the Césairean...
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SOURCE: “Léopold Senghor: Chants d'ombre and Hosties noires,” in Black Writers in French: A Literary History of Negritude, translated by Ellen Conroy Kennedy, Temple University Press, 1974, pp. 194-226.
[In the following excerpt, Kesteloot provides analysis of Senghor's formative influences, African themes, and early poetic style in Chants d'ombre and Hosties noires.]
Léopold Sédar Senghor was attracted to poetry very early. As a lycée student in Dakar, he was composing romantic verse even before he developed an enthusiasm for Corneille and Racine. In Paris, Senghor discovered Péguy, then the modern European and American Negro poets. Later on, while studying for his degree in literature, he read the works of the medieval troubadors and a great deal of Claudel, but experimented with his own talent as a writer mainly by translating into French the poems of his homeland, Senegal.
Much has been made of the profound influence of Saint-John Perse on Senghor. In the part of this chapter devoted to literary analysis, we shall show to what extent the discovery of Saint-John Perse influenced Senghor's style. Senghor did not yet know Perse's work when he composed his own first two books of poems, Chants d'ombre and Hosties noires, whose major themes we now propose to analyze.
These poems were written between 1936 and 1945, not all at...
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SOURCE: “Negritude and Utopianism,” in African Literature Today: A Review, No. 7, edited by Eldred Durosimi Jones, Heinemann, 1975, pp. 65-75.
[In the following excerpt, Case discusses elements of intellectual alienation and false idealization in the negritude of Senghor and Aimé Césaire. Negritude, as a product of European acculturation, Case contends, “has nothing to do with the existential reality of the mass of black men.”]
Aimé Césaire and Léopold Sédar Senghor are indisputably the two great leaders of the Négritude movement which was born in France in the late 1930s. It is significant that both men are now politicians of some stature and that Senghor is generally considered as one of the greatest supporters of the concept of Francophonie. He has made use of his position as President of Senegal to promote the recognition of African cultural values throughout the world and is an international figure whose reputation has spread beyond the French-speaking nations. …
One of the principal characteristics of any racism is its negative basis. It is, essentially, the negation of the humanity of a racial group and the denial of all the values of that group. Césaire's Négritude, and Senghor's also, is the affirmation of African cultural values. It is a positive expression of human dignity and pride which, of necessity, has to be preceded by a ‘purification’ of the...
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SOURCE: “Léopold Sédar Senghor: A Catholic Sensibility?,” in French Review, Vol. LIII, No. 5, April, 1980, pp. 670-9.
[In the following essay, Pallister objects to critical interpretations of Senghor's poetry that emphasize the significance of symbolist, surrealist, and Roman Catholic influences in his work.]
It is arresting to note that many recent trends in Senghorian criticism, relying on a whole new set of critical clichés, should attempt to legitimize this great and fundamentally African poet by seeking to draw him into mainstream literature from France. Perhaps this is partially the product of another earlier critical strain that reproached Senghor the politician, Senghor the poet and Senghor the man for not being sufficiently African, while putting the whole concept of negritude and aggressive assimilation under attack. Now there seems to be a compulsion to make him sufficiently European. Whatever the reason, it is baffling and disconcerting to find Geneviève Lebaud in her 1976 book entitled Léopold Sédar Senghor, ou la Poésie du royaume d'enfance, making frequent comparisons of Senghor to Saint-John Perse, Rimbaud, Claudel, and in particular Baudelaire. This latter cue is pursued in a very recent article in French Review by Alfred J Guillaume, Jr., who ostensibly authenticates these comparisons between Baudelaire and Senghor by having engaged Senghor himself in a...
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SOURCE: “The Negritude Generation” and “After Independence, the First Twenty Years: New Themes, New Names,” in Senegalese Literature: A Critical History, Twayne, 1984, pp. 45-141.
[In the following excerpt, Blair provides an overview of Senghor's literary and political career, particularly his role as a leading figure of the negritude movement and Senegalese literature.]
The literary pioneers we discussed in the preceding chapter were, without exception, the docile and grateful products of the French educational system, their “civilizing mission” and assimilation policy as applied to Senegal. Not one of these writers questioned the superiority of Western values; none showed any symptom of disquiet over a possible loss of cultural identity. But neither had any one of them been exposed to the cosmopolitan stimuli and intellectual hurly-burly of Paris student life. At the bottom of the educational ladder was a self-taught herdsman; at the top, a priest formed in the airtight academic chamber of a Catholic seminary.
However, in the 1930s, more and more outstanding young Senegalese were proceeding with scholarships to institutions of higher and professional training in France. They made contact with fellow blacks from Madagascar, the Caribbean, North America, and other parts of Africa. Some American Negro expatriates formed an important element in the intellectual melting pot of...
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SOURCE: “Coming of Age,” in Black, French, and African: A Life of Léopold Sédar Senghor, Harvard University Press, 1990, pp. 117-46.
[In the following excerpt, Vaillant discusses the significance of Senghor's formative years in France and his early poetry.]
On the eve of World War II, Tours was a calm little town in the Loire Valley slightly to the south and west of Paris. The people of the region were known as bon vivants, lovers of good food and wine. They were sunny, like their rich and fertile countryside. Tours is, and was when Senghor arrived, a town typical of provincial France and the French heartland. Senghor particularly enjoyed the fact that it had been a Roman settlement, Cesarodunum, and remained rich in signs of its Roman and early Christian history. It encompassed, therefore, all he thought best in French culture.
In the fall of 1935, the forty-four children who arrived for their first day in sixth class met an unexpected sight. They knew they were getting a new teacher, an agrégé from the University of Paris, who was better educated than many of their other teachers. They expected him to be poised and well-prepared. When they entered their groundfloor classroom, the found a man who seemed confident and well-educated but who was black. They had never seen anyone like him before. Senghor sympathized with the awkward situation of the director of the school, who must...
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SOURCE: “Born Again African,” in New York Review of Books, December 20, 1990, pp. 11-2, 14, 16, 18, 20-1.
[In the following review, Shattuck and Ka provide an overview of Senghor's political and literary career along with commentary on Oeuvre poétique, Ce que je crois, and Janet G. Valliant's Black, French, and African: A Life of Leopold Sedar Senghor.]
On July 7, 1928, the graduation ceremonies of the new French lycée in Dakar, Senegal, were dignified by the presence of the governor general of West Africa. Primarily the children of white colonial administrators and businessmen, the school's hundred-odd students included about fifteen Africans, only one in the graduating class. They had been put through their paces for the baccalaureate by examiners sent from Bordeaux to maintain French standards. After the speeches, when the prizes were finally awarded, the same student walked forward time after time to receive the book prize in each academic subject and then one last time to receive the outstanding student award conferred by the governor general himself.
The student who thus swept the field was neither French nor a Creole with French citizenship from one of the four original colonial settlements, but a black Serer from the bush. The triumph of Léopold Sédar Senghor over all his more privileged classmates soon became a legend in West Africa....
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SOURCE: “Poet Laureate of Africa,” in Washington Post Book World, July 5, 1992, p. 2.
[In the following review, Appiah offers praise for The Collected Poetry.]
Sometime in the late '60s, one summer holiday at home in Ghana, I took down the collected poems that Leopold Sedar Senghor had sent my parents, and began to translate them from the French. My father was an African politician and diplomat of Senghor's generation, a generation whose leaders knew each other across national and linguistic divides. Senghor had sent him this elegant red volume, “the definitive version,” he wrote in his brief introduction, “of my poems.” I started at the beginning with “In Memoriam,” the opening poem from Chants d'Ombre （“Shadow Songs”）, published in 1945.
C'est Dimanche J'ai peur de la foule de mes semblables au visage de pierre. （Today is Sunday I fear the crowd of my fellows with such faces of stone.）
That second rolling line, with what struck my ear as a strong, propulsive beat, is typical of Senghor's poetry. The line is long, the rhythm emphatic, the imagery striking; the language has a rigorous lucidity. And much else about this poem seems exemplary of Senghor's extraordinary oeuvre.
Take the title. Latin, it is a mark of a Sunday reflection on the day after All Saints', the great Catholic feast.
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SOURCE: “Negritude and African Poetry,” in Critical Theory and African Literature Today: A Review, edited by Eldred Durosimi Jones, James Currey, 1994, pp. 22-43.
[In the following excerpt, Elimimian examines Senghor's contribution to the negritude movement, particularly his evocation of deceased African ancestry, black beauty, Western exploitation, and the possibility of reconciliation in his poetry.]
The word, ‘Negritude’, which connotes ‘blackness’, has been employed in literary discourse for decades. Charles Lamb used the word in 1822 in his essay, ‘The Praise of Chimney-Sweepers’. Aimé Césaire employed it in 1938 in his poem Return to my Native Land: ‘my negritude is not a stone / nor deafness flung out against the clamour of the day’. In African literary criticism, Eldred Jones avers that Soyinka has little or no basis for attacking the Negritude writers since ‘his work exhibits all that negritude was essentially about, bar the shouting’.
My objective in this article is not only to highlight the use or the emergence of the word Negritude in literary criticism, but to discuss, as much as time and space permit, the theoretical background of the Negritude movement and its impact on African poetry, particularly as it applies to the works of Léopold Sédar Senghor, David Diop, and Birago Diop, Africa's best known Negritude poets.
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SOURCE: “Hello and Goodbye to Négritude: Senghor, Dadié, Dongala, and America,” translated by Grace E. An, in Research in African Literatures, Vol. 27, No. 2, Summer, 1996, pp. 51-69.
[In the following excerpt, Anyinefa examines Senghor's contribution to negritude ideology and his portrayal of African-Americans in “To the Black American Troops,” “Elegy for Martin Luther King,” and “To New York.”]
And I told myself of … New York and San Francisco not a bit of this earth not smudged by my fingerprint, and my calcaneum dug into the backs of the skyscrapers and my dirt in the glory of jewels! Who can boast of having more than I? Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama. Monstrous putrefaction of ineffective revolts, swamps of rotten blood trumpets, absurdly stoppered red, blood-red lands of one blood.
Aimé Césaire, Return to my Native Land
Le fait est donc là: il n'y a pas de négritude de demain. Ce matin, levé avant les coqs, Caliban, l'homme des bonnes tempêtes de l'espérance, a vu l'Orphée noir de sa jeunesse remonter des enfers avec une fée sans vie dans ses bras.
René Depestre, Bonjour et adieu à la Négritude
The facts are there. There will be no négritude of tomorrow. This morning, having risen before the rooster, Caliban, man of many stormy hopes, saw the Black Orpheus of his youth come back up...
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Grant, Stephen H. “Léopold Sédar Senghor, Former President of Senegal.” Africa Report 28, No. 6 （November-December 1983）: 61-4.
Senghor discusses his political career, world art and literature, and his advocacy of multicultural “crossbreeding.”
Pappageorge, Julia Di Stefano. “Senghor Re-evaluated.” In African Literature Today: A Review, No. 6, edited by Eldred Durosimi Jones, pp. 54-67. London: Heinemann, 1973.
Provides an overview of Senghor's poetry, discusses his impact on African thought and literature, and English translations of his work.
Peters, Jonathan. “Chants d'ombre: Negritude, the Ancestors, the Princes, and the Gods.” In A Dance of Masks: Senghor, Achebe, Soyinka, pp. 15-39. Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1978.
Provides analysis of Senghor's major themes, poetic style, and artistic development in Chants d'ombre.
Skurnik, Walter A. E. “Léopold Sédar Senghor and African Socialism.” Journal of Modern African Studies 3, No. 3 （1965）: 349-69.
>Examines Senghor's interpretation of negritude, his political perspective, and theory of history.
Vaillant, Janet G. “Perspectives on Leopold Senghor and the Changing Face of Negritude.” ASA Review of Books 2...
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