20 December 2017

Senegal: Remembering Leopold Sedar Senghor On His Death Anniversary

Photo: Bibliothèque nationale de France
Leopold Sedar Senghor

Greetings Africa on the day Senegalese poet, politician and 1st President of Senegal, Leopold Sedar Senghor, died. The African socialist was associated with the Négritude movement and was the founder of the Senegalese Democratic Bloc party. Here are some of his quotes:

Senegalese poet, politician and the first President of Senegal, Leopold Sedar Senghor, died today in 2001. He had a profound legacy, intertwining his political and literary lives.

Together with Aime Cesaire, he co-founded the Negritude movement to promote distinct African aesthetics and culture in opposition to the French and European way of life and exploitation.

Besides writing a number of poetry collections, non-fictional books and essays, he was co-founded a journal, Presence Africaine with Alione Diop. He was also the first African to join the Academie Francaise.

He continued with his political and literary lives to his death, aged 95.

Here are some of his quotes:

In Africa, when children have grown up, they leave their parents' hut, and build a hut of their own by its side. Believe me, we don't want to leave the French compound. We have grown up in it, and it is good to be alive in it. We simply want to build our own huts.

The civilization of the twentieth century cannot be universal except by being a dynamic synthesis of all the cultural values of all civilizations. It will be monstrous unless it is seasoned with the salt of negritude, for it will be without the savor of humanity.

The equilibrium you admire in me is an unstable one, difficult to maintain. My inner life was split early between the call of the Ancestors and the call of Europe, between the exigencies of black-African culture and those of modern life.

Art is animated by invisible forces that rule the universe.

I have always taken care to put an idea or emotion behind my words. I have made it a habit to be suspicious of the mere music of words.

Let us listen to the voices of our Forebears ... In the smoky cabin, souls that wish us well are murmuring.

I chose my black people struggling, my country people, all country people, in the world


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