What was the shape of African thought in the 20th century?
It was the time of the end of European empires and the rise of African identities. The time of political independence, but also philosophical independence. This philosophical independence had to confront the legacy of colonialism first, as you can hear in our previous lecture on Colonialism and African Philosophy. But it also sought to create something new: a pan-African, Black identity rooted in African values.
This new identity was greatly influenced by the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s and the Négritude movement of the 1930s. These were broad cultural and literary movements, the one centered in Harlem, New York, and the other with poets and writers from around the world.
In this interactive talk, Grâce Ndjako will tell us about these pioneering authors and poets. What was their common ground – were there basic values shared by Africans throughout the diaspora? What did these thinkers add to the mix, and how successful were they in creating a new cultural and philosophical identity?