Léopold Sédar Senghor: First African inducted into the Académie Française

Léopold Sédar Senghor: First African inducted into the Académie Française

senghor1Ardain Isma

Last year, a reader brought Léopold Sédar Senghor to my attention as being the first African to be inducted into the Académie Française. In a piece I published earlier, I referred to Dany Laferrière of Haiti as being the first such person. I was wrong. Léopold Sédar Senghor was elected to the Académie in 1983, replacing Antoine de Lévis Mirepoix at the 16th seat. Laferrière was inducted in 2015 after being elected in 2013.

Senghor was born in the west African country of Senegal, then a French colony. He was educated in Paris. He was one of the pioneers of the Black Renaissance movement universally known as La Négritude in response to European racism. It was also created to showcase black’s pride in literature and in politics.

Senghor also led the independence movement of Senegal and became the country’s first president in 1960.

NoteArdain Isma is a novelist and editing manager at CSMS Magazine . He heads the Center for Strategic and Multicultural Studies. He also teaches Introduction to Research Studies at Embry Riddle University. To see his books, click here.

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