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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Negritude & African poetry
Author:Elimimian, Isaac I.ISNI
Periodical:African Literature Today
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Abstract:The word 'Negritude', which connotes 'blackness', has been employed in literary discourse for decades. After a short description of the internal and external factors that contributed to the rise and development of the Negritude movement, the author examines the way in which Léopold Sédar Senghor, David Diop and Birago Diop have employed the Negritude philosophy to advance their poetry. The main Negritude themes in Senghor's work are the celebration of the dead ancestors, the celebration of black beauty and the spirit of reconciliation. The three major Negritude themes recurring in David Diop's poetry are criticism of Western civilization and its attendant colonialism, nostalgia for and glorification of Africa, and a firm belief in a future Africa which is prosperous, united and strong. Birago Diop's three Negritude themes are Western colonialism in Africa, criticism of Africans who imitate the Western lifestyle, and the celebration of indigenous culture. The conclusion is that Negritude has provided these three poets with the literary resource or tool with which to fashion their poetry, and has fostered a healthy critical debate among critics of African literature. Ref.