NEH banner

[light] [dark]

[Return to Query]

Products for grant FT-60655-13

Black Diasporan and West African Francophone Intellectuals, 1914-1966
Babacar Mbaye, Kent State University

Grant details:

Blaise Diagne Speaks: The Cosmopolitan and Anticolonial Resistances of a Little-Known West African Francophone Leader (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Blaise Diagne Speaks: The Cosmopolitan and Anticolonial Resistances of a Little-Known West African Francophone Leader
Author: Babacar M'Baye
Abstract: This paper will analyze the important roles that the early twentieth-century Senegalese political leader Blaise Diagne played in the little-known cosmopolitan and anticolonial resistance of Francophone West Africans in which France played a major part during the first two quarters of the twentieth century. In an attempt to reveal Diagne’s contributions to this Francophone West African and anticolonial resistance tradition which had many intellectual, political, and cultural ramifications, this paper will chart the routes of the Senegalese leader’s rise from his upbringing in colonial Senegal to his future emergence as one of the most prominent African anticolonial figures of the early twentieth century. Drawing from the current scholarships about the black Atlantic intellectual tradition and Black Paris, this essay will interpret archival materials (such as letters, speeches, and newspaper articles) that Diagne wrote in the early twentieth century in order to respond to important issues such as black participation in World War I, the oppression of French colonialism in West Africa, and other issues in which black Atlantic intellectuals such as W.E.B Du Bois and Marcus Garvey were also involved. By studying the different ways in which Diagne, Du Bois, and Garvey attempted to tackle the above problems through their speeches, correspondences, and articles about one another during the World War I era, my paper will reveal the primary role that Diagne played in the development of a Senegalese intellectual tradition that black Atlantic Studies have so far neglected. Emphasizing the crucial role that Diagne played in this tradition that has been mostly credited to Western black intellectuals, this paper attempts to break new grounds where the complex writings and history of French African colonies could be properly understood.
Date: 11/22/13
Conference Name: Sixth Annual Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) Conference