Léopold Sédar Senghor: Black Renaissance and Racism – Paperback

Léopold Sédar Senghor: Black Renaissance and Racism – Paperback



The first collection of Senghor’s poems, Chants d’Ombre, contains fireside songs. a series of dirges and war songs, exhortatory and lamentatory. The music is also internal, as we hear the rhapsody of the griots during the funeral celebrations, ‘pagan’ voices chanting the Christian Tantum Ergo, wrestling champions are encouraged with songs. We hear the night chants of mediums, the sobbing throb of jazz music, the lonely notes of blues rhythm, the rhythm of the machine, of prayer, of love and the rhythm of life. Hosties noires, his second volume, is a series of dirges and war songs, exhortatory and lamentatory. In Ethiopiques musical indications become the rule. The poem on Congo River is accompanied by three kora and a xylophone while ‘A New York’ is written for a full jazz orchestra, a solo trumpet and an oboe. Éthiopiques contains political songs – ‘Chants pour Signare.’ ‘Chants de l’Initie’ and ‘Elégies’. Beyond the analysis of his poetry, the hopes of the child and his disappointments have been taken into account, as well as the youthful ambitions and the achievements of the adult.

The analysis goes beyond the sociological, reintegrating these findings into the framework of the life and work of Senghor and understanding the poet through the politician, the lover through the poet. Léopold Sédar Senghor is certainly one of the greatest poets of contemporary Africa and one of the propagandists of negritude, which inspired some and alienated others. The black man at the beginning of the century, and more so around 1936, had to shout about his blackness, not only because of the white racism that had dominated western culture for more than three thousand years, but also because of the racism and fascism ravaging Europe in the 1930s. To defend himself, the black writer, to use the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, had to adopt intellectual militancy, positing in antithesis an anti-racist black racism to combat the thesis of white supremacy and racism, which was then both overt and implicit in the world in various forms, either through cultural domination (in language and religion) or through political subjugation (in the form of slavery and colonialism).


Okechukwu Mezu is a renowned writer, scholar, publisher, entrepreneur, philanthropist, diplomat and pioneer in Nigerian-West African politics. He received his B.A. in French (1964) with minors in German and Philosophy from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., LL.B. from La Salle Extension University, Chicago, Diplome d’Etudes from the University of Paris, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne, France, and an M.A. (1966), Ph.D (1967) in Romance Languages from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.In addition to hundreds of articles in international journals and various chapters in several books, Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu’s other works include The Philosophy of Pan-Africanism, ed. (1965); The Tropical Dawn, poems (1966; 970); Leopold Sédar Senghor et la défense et illustration de la civilisation noire, (1968); Black Leaders of the Centuries, ed. with Ram Desai (1970); Behind the Rising Sun, a novel about the Biafran war (1971); Modern Black Literature, ed. (1971); The Literary Works of Senghor (1972); Igbo Market Literature, compiler. 5 vols. (1972); The Meaning of Africa to Afro-Americans: A Comparative Study Of Race & Racism, ed. (1972); Umu Ejima (The Twins), an Igbo adaptation of the Latin play, Menaechmi by Plautus (1975); The poetry of Leopold Sedar Senghor (1973); Ken Saro-Wiwa: the life and times, ed. (1996); Nigeria, Ojukwu, Azikiwe, Biafra beyond the rising sun (2012); John Paul II and Africa. ed. with Dr. Rose Mezu (2014); Igbo nation: challenges of rebirth and development. Vol. 1 & 2. ed. by S. Okechukwu Mezu & T. U. Nwala (2014).

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Black Academy Press (December 9, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 185 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0878311807
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0878311804
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • UNSPSC-Code ‏ : ‎ 55101500
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.42 x 9 inches