AfriGeneas Writers Forum
Léopold Sédar Senghor: Senegal and France
Greetings Afrigeneas Writers:
A few months ago, I learned that in 2006, France and the Sorbonne will honor Senegal’s Léopold Sédar Senghor. Since then, I’ve been intrigued by his career and I continue to research his life.
Teacher, Poet, War hero, Statesman, Léopold Sédar Senghor was indeed a “Man for All Seasons.” Senghor reminds us of our American Paul Robeson, and Guadeloupe/France’s Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Their lives and his were full of contrasts and paradoxes, impossible to define in one or two words.
Perhaps the links below will help us understand the incredible legacy that Senghor gave to the world. Léopold Sédar Senghor’s poetry and his dedication to the cultural essence of “Negritude” is what I am pleased to share with you.
When Senghor died in 2001, Africa, France, the world mourned his passing.
“Poetry has lost one of its masters, Senegal a statesman, Africa a visionary and France a friend," President Chirac said.”
“UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was a "powerful champion of African dignity and an advocate of dialogue among civilisations.”
The above quotes were included in UK’s The Guardian. You can read "Shadow Songs" Senghor’s complete obituary at the URL below.
Senegal remembers him at the link below:
The University of Florida’s Africana Collection introduces Léopold Sédar Senghor as a man born to a prosperous family in Joal, Senegal, and later educated at the Sorbonne. From there his amazing biography resounds with achievement … During WW II he joined an African army in France, and later the French Resistance. It was during his imprisonment in a Nazi camp, that Senghor was inspired to write, "Shadow Songs". In 1960, Senghor was elected President of Senegal. In 1984, France elected him into its prestigious Académie Française.
The Africana Collection includes some of his poems, too. His poetry is incredibly beautiful. Senghor’s life in Senegal and his connection to France also extends to our African American writers and poets. I’ll be very pleased to share it all with you in another message.
Enjoy the life and poetry of this phenomenal man Léopold Sédar Senghor.
Can I get a witness?
K Wyer Lane
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