University of Rochester
Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies

This is Africa (Blog)

    A tribute to the Négritude movement and Laboratoire Agit-Art, Senegal

    by Rachel Hamada

    In 1960, after centuries of colonial encroachment and slave-trading, Senegal became independent. Its new rulers, in particular poet, philosopher and statesman President Léopold Sédar Senghor, strove to define a cultural identity distinct from that imposed by the French.

    The answer was ‘Négritude’ – a philosophical movement guided by the will to establish African culture as different from, but at least equal to, the European culture that had been foisted on it. This movement took Senegal and its artists into the mid-1970s, a point at which many artists felt that the concept, nurturing in its time, had perhaps been outgrown. read more please visit

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