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Léopold Sedar Senghor, poet and first president of Senegal, dies at 95

December 21, 2001 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Léopold Sedar Senghor, poet and first president of Senegal, dies at 95
He was the founder the négritude movement in French poetry, and a leader of African socialism. This "This Day" article discusses the political side, crediting him with Senegal's relative peace and success. This Libération article gives some biographical details. Like his friend and colleague, Senghor's negritude poems used images and symbolism of African folk cultures in French modernist verse to create a liberated identity for Africans.
posted by rschram (6 comments total)

 
He was also the first black french academy member, as well as the first member not born in France. I know that his poems, his ideas, and his courage influenced people the world over, including myself, and he will be a sorely missed national figure in Senegal.
posted by sean17 at 9:55 PM on December 21, 2001


A great man and poet, Senghor was a visionary. To the Portuguese and Brazilians, right and left, he's a hero. To some, a saint. Like Borges, he was and saw the Universe.
I hope his death will draw attention to his increasingly urgent message of multicultural pride and understanding.
It'll feel a bit lonelier to live in a world without him.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:04 PM on December 21, 2001


I was less familiar than those above with the man, his story and Senegal's history, but I knew who and what a rare individual he was. I add an amen to their comments. An essential post, rschram, well done.
posted by y2karl at 9:30 AM on December 22, 2001


That's an interesting piece. Thanks.
posted by busbyism at 10:02 AM on December 22, 2001


Like his friend and colleague, ^Aime Cesaire, Senghor's negritude poems used images and symbolism of African folk cultures ... Duh!

Cesaire, by the way, is the better poet in my book, but Senghor was no slouch either.
posted by rschram at 12:19 PM on December 22, 2001


I should feel a bit guilty to type anything here when I do not even remember one of his poems' title, though I knew his name for having seen it associated with the greatest contemporary poets, but I just wanted to express my sympathy to the senegalese and francophone africans among us. I have many senegalese friends, and they rock. I'm feeling very sorry for the loss of their greatest poet.
Mes condoléances au peuple sénégalais...
posted by michel v at 12:40 PM on December 22, 2001


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