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Biography of Alioune DIOP

Senegal > Literature : Alioune DIOP

Alioune DIOP
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Born on 10/01/1910 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Alioune Diop (born Janurary 10, 1910 died May 2, 1980) was a renowned Senegalese  writer and editor, founder of Presence Africaine who became a central figure in the Negritude movement. Principal organizer of the 1956 1st International Congress of Black Writers and Artists. 1956 Congress presentation title: "Discours d'ouverture". He was one of the most noble figures of the twentieth century. Upon his death in 1980, Leopold Sedar Senghor (former President of Senegal)  declared he was the black Socrates.

Born in 1910 at St Louis in Senegal, He was born a muslim and went to a koranic school, whilst his aunts taught him to read the bible. Alioune Diop arrived in Paris in 1937, as a poor and unknown student. He was one of the first black people to obtin his baccalaureat and continued his studies in Paris. Because of his intellectual rigour and passion for the future of Africa, he became the guide for African students from the colonies who lived in France during the occupation and he was interlocutor of the French Intellegentsia.

Ten years later, he had become a French senator, Director of the cabinet of the Minister responsble for the AOF and counted amongst his friends Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso, André Gide, Aimé Césaire, Joséphine Baker, Duke Ellington, Boris Vian...»

His review, Presence Africain revealed the grandor of Africa around intellectuals such as Wole Soyinka, Cheikh Anta Diop, Joseph Ki Zerbo, Amadou Hampâté Bâ, Joseph Zobel, Maryse Condé or Abdoulaye Wade.

In 1956 he organised the Congress of Black artists and writers at the Sorbonne and attracted artists and writers from across the world, including Pablo  Picasso and Levi Strauss. With Léopold Sédar Senghor he organised the first festival of Negro Arts in Dakar in 1966. The speakers included;  André Malraux, Aimé Césaire, Duke Ellington, Joséphine Baker, Langston Hughes, Michel Leiris…

He died at the age of 70, in 1980.

 




Internet site : http://www.aliounediop.org/

Last update : 04/18/2011


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