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Title:Hello and goodbye to Négritude: Senghor, Dadié, Dongala, and America
Author:Anyinefa, KoffiISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic terms:French-speaking Africa
Subsaharan Africa
About persons:Bernard Binlin Dadié (1916-)ISNI
Emmanuel Boundzéki Dongala (1941-)ISNI
Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001)ISNI
Abstract:Emerging about half a century ago, one of the primary objectives of African literature in European languages was to correct the rather negative image of Africa provided by Western literatures, to counter the derogatory hetero-image with a positive self-image. Given that all discussion about the Self is simultaneously a discussion about the Other and vice-versa, this literature turns towards the Other as well, which in this case is the West. It is in the light of the construction of identity of the Self through the apprehension of the Other that this study addresses the representation of the USA, or 'America' by Léopold Sédar Senghor, Bernard B. Dadié, and Emmanuel B. Dongala, three authors from francophone sub-Saharan Africa. In general, there are two positions that structure the relationships that black African intellectuals have maintained with this country. For Senghor and Dadié, partisans of Négritude, America is the Other, but an Other that is at the same time the Self due to the black community of African descent. In contrast, for Dongala, any link in identity with America is flatly rejected: she is simply the Other. The present author embraces this dual aspect of the representation of America in his discussion. To finish off, he touches upon the current debate around the concept of 'race'. Bibliogr., notes, ref.