The Works of Leopold Sedar Senghor Analytical Essay by Nicky

Looks at the cultural, religious and political themes in the works of Leopold Sedar Senghor.
# 150281 | 6,905 words | 24 sources | APA | 2009 | US
Published on Jan 30, 2012 in History (African) , History (Leaders) , Literature (African)

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This paper reviews the life and writings of Leopold Sedar Senghor, born in 1906, who was the first president of the Republic of Senegal and founder of the literature movement Negritude and who had a distinguished career as a poet, a scholar, a soldier and a statesman. After an extensive literature review and review of some of Senghor's own writings, the author underscores that Senghor believed that all cultural, religious and political aspects were intertwined into the essence of man and that these were representative of God and of all mankind in their relationship with each other and with nature. The paper concludes that Senghor stressed how characteristics and outward signs as well as methods of obtaining spiritual, political or intellectual awareness and knowledge were different for Africans as contrasted to Europeans

Table of Contents:
Literature Review
Senghor's Hermeneutics
Senghor's View on Assimilation
Three Primary Types of Negritude
Poetry as 'Key' Outlet for Combating Cultural Alienation in for Africans
Primary Themes in Senghour's Poetry
Senghor's 'Hosties Noires'
Senghour's Work 'Chants pour Naett' (1950) - 'Chants pour Signare' in Noctures (1960)
Senghor's Use of The Trope
Contemporary Humanism
"New York"
Summary and Conclusion

From the Paper:

"Senghor was educated in Catholic schools with the intent to pursue a career as a priest however, while attending the seminary Senghor was "first confronted the contradictions inherent in the French policy of assimilation that claimed to uphold the equality of all yet assumed the superiority of European culture and civilization." Senghor was dismissed from the seminary for his protest against the racism of the fathers and completed his education at the Public Secondary school in Dakar and earned a scholarship to continue at the Lycee Louis le Grand in France."
"Senghor earned a scholarship to continue at the Lycee Louis le Grand in France and it was there in the 1920s that Senghor discovered the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and met students who were radically swayed from the French Caribbean who voiced criticism against capitalism and appealed to an end of colonialism. Senghor was inspired by these group's cultural and political ideals and joined Aime Cesaire of Martinique and Leon Damas of French Guiana in founding the Negritude movement as an affirmation of African history and culture. This group published not only their own individual works in writing but also published L'etudiant noir as the principal journal of the Negritude movement. The test in France for its highest teaching degree was the aggregation and in 1935 Senghor was the first African to pass this test enabling him to teach Latin."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baaz, Maria Eriksson and Palmberg, Mai (2001) Same and Other: Negotiating African Identity in Cultural Production. Nordiska Afrikainsitutet. Online available at:
  • Bernasconi, Robert (2001) Race Volume 2 of Blackwell Readings in Continental Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell, 2001.
  • Fraser, Robert (1986) West African Poetry: A Critical History. Cambridge University Press. 1986.
  • Gerard, Albert S. (1986) European Writing in Sub-Saharan African. Vol. 6 Histoire compare des literatures de langues europeeness. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1986.
  • Kamal Salhi, "Rethinking Francophone Culture: African and the Caribbean between History and Theory," Research in African Literatures 35 (2004): 9-23, at 13.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Works of Leopold Sedar Senghor (2012, January 30) Retrieved March 02, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The Works of Leopold Sedar Senghor" 30 January 2012. Web. 02 March. 2024. <>