Thursday, June 08, 2006
2006 : Léopold Sédar Senghor year!!
Born on October 9th,1906 in Koal, Sénégal, his life ended in 2001 in Verson, Normandy after a century of tumultuous life of which he became over time the main actor.
He was, in 1960, the 1st Senegalese president after the African nation gained independence from France.
He first set foot in Paris, thanks to a scholarship, in 1928 and quickly befriended George Pompidou (1911-1974), former head of the French Republic but at this point Senghor was a mere poet and that was his main focus. He then co-founded, along with Léon Damas and Aimé Césaire, both well known linguists of french carribean origin, what was to become " LA NEGRITUDE".
This movement both a political and literary faction of Afrocentrism, is there to fight ferociously prejudices brought about by centuries of slavery and exploitation of the "Dark Continent".
The "NEGRITUDE", by definition means : "Acknowledging one's blackness, destiny, history and culture". He wrote these words in 1934 in the "L'Etudiant Noir" review.
He, like so many young intellectuals of his time, had a passion for the french language. A language that he regarded as one of "gentillesse et honnêteté ( kindness and honesty)", for he firmly believed that one could use his/her oppressor's weapon against him.
Here are some of his famous quotes :
"Ma Négritude point n'est sommeil de la race mais soleil de l'âme, ma négritude vue et vieMa Négritude est truelle à la main, est lance au poing Réécade. Il n'est question de boire, de manger l'instant qui passeTant pis si je m'attendris sur les roses du Cap-Vert !Ma tâche est d’éveiller mon peuple aux futurs flamboyantsMa joie de créer des images pour le nourrir, ô lumières rythmées de la Parole !"
Excerpt from "CRL de Basse-Normandie / Julien de Saint-Jorres"