Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2013 - 7/31/2013

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Black Diasporan and West African Francophone Intellectuals, 1914-1966

FAIN: FT-60655-13

Babacar Mbaye
Kent State University (Kent, OH 44242-0001)

My book explores the connections between a selected group of black diasporan and West African Francophone intellectuals whose published and (or) archived writings allow us to study their little-known involvement in major historical forces such as World War I, World War II, the 1955 Bandung Conference, the 1956 Congress of Black Writers in Paris, and the 1966 World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar. Studying these writings, I trace the roots of black diasporan and West African Francophone solidarity against colonialism and racism between 1914 and 1966. Focusing on the African Americans (W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Mercer Cook), Caribbeans (Marcus Garvey and Aime Cesaire), and Francophone West Africans (the Senegalese Blaise Diagne, Leopold S. Senghor, and Alioune Diop, the Beninese Kojo T. Houenou, and the Ivorian Bernard Dadie), I show how the historical experiences tested the resilience of the black thinkers against oppression and their ties with one another.

Media Coverage

Author(s): El Hadji Samba A Diallo
Publication: Cahiers d'études africaines
Date: 12/11/2020

Associated Products

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

Black Cosmopolitanism and Anticolonialism Pivotal Moments (Book)
Title: Black Cosmopolitanism and Anticolonialism Pivotal Moments
Author: Babacar M'Baye
Abstract: This book examines the cosmopolitanism and anticolonialism that black intellectuals, such as the African American W.E.B. Du Bois, the Caribbeans Marcus Garvey and George Padmore, and the Francophone West Africans (Kojo Touvalou-Houénou, Lamine Senghor, and Léopold Sédar Senghor) developed during the two world wars by fighting for freedom, equality, and justice for Senegalese and other West African colonial soldiers (known as tirailleurs) who made enormous sacrifices to liberate France from German oppression. Focusing on the solidarity between this special group of African American, Caribbean, and Francophone West African intellectuals against French colonialism, this book uncovers pivotal moments of black Anglophone and Francophone cosmopolitanism and traces them to published and archived writings produced between 1914 and the middle of the twentieth century.
Year: 2017
Primary URL:
Publisher: Routledge
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781138331877