Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté, teacher, journalist and political activist was a pioneer for African nationalism and one of the first Communists in Africa. He was born on April 27, 1902, in Ségou, French Soudan.Kouyaté was regarded as the most influential personality among the West African migrant community in France according to French intelligence assessments. Kouyaté was also among the first generation of Western-educated Africans in French Soudan. He was from the Bambara ethnic group of Mali. He was first educated at a primary school in Bamako, the capital of Mali. Kouyaté arrived in France after he was awarded a scholarship to further his studies at the Ecole Normale at Aix en Provence.
In 1926 Kouyaté, alongside Lamine Senghor, a Senegalese nationalist and World War I veteran,created the Ligue de Defense de la Race Nègre (the League for the Defense of the Negro Race, or LDRN). It was one of the most important pan-African political movements to emerge from interwar Paris. A key characteristic of the LDRN is that it demanded full citizenship for all colonial subjects and was funded by the French Communist Party. Kouyaté took over the direction of the LDRN after the death of Senghor a year after its creation. Assuming the role of secretary general, he constructed a program that called for the independence of African colonies and the establishment of socialism in Africa. Under Kouyaté’s leadership, the league supported Garveyism and the United States National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. On interactions with W.E.B Du Bois, famous African American leader on April 29, 1929, he described the aim of the league as “the political, economic, moral, and intellectual emancipation of the whole of the Negro race. It is a matter of winning back, all honorable means, the national independence of the Negro peoples in the colonial territories of France, England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal…and of setting up in Black Africa a great Negro state.” Consequently, in 1927 and 1928, La Race Nègre. published articles of cultural interest about blacks in the United states as well as the cultural achievements of Africans throughout history and the eyewitness accounts of abuses committed by the colonial administrators. French colonial authorities considered the LDRN a dangerous and inflammatory organization and banned La Race Nègre in the colonies. Kouyaté was under close watch by French authorities after the Colonial Ministry requested background information on him. This led to information on him being dispatched in the French West African monthly propaganda reports.
After attending a conference in Frankfurt at the end of July in 1929, he visited Berlin, where his contact with Wilhelm Münzenberg, German Communist political activist and publisher, allowed him to gain access to the African community there. There he was present at the inaugural meeting of the Liga zur Verteidigung der Negerrasse , formally a section of the Paris association and closely tied to Münzenbergs Liga gegen Imperialismus. The Liga was an important organisation of the Black German community until it disintegrated with the rise of Nazism and was terminated finally in 1935.
In 1931 the League for the Defense of the Negro Race, acquiring a new leader split. This led to the creation of the Union des Travailleurs Nègres (Union of the Negro Workers), an association made up of both communists and ex-communists. From this emerged a new journal titled Le Cri des Nègres (Cry of the Negroes). The magazine focused on the poor treatment of Black people globally and published an article by the Guadeloupian communist Stephane Rosso where he described the Scottsboro rape trial in the United States and the deaths of Africans in the construction of the Congo-Ocean railroad. The article reached Dakar in Senegal almost immediately.
Kouyaté was banished from the French Communist Party as well as the Union Des Travailleurs Nègres in October 1933. After being accused of being in contact with enemies of the revolutionary trade union movement and of not facing responded to requests of justifications, Kouyaté’s name and photograph were published in the Communist Party’s blacklist which explained he was “kicked out of the party for being anti-communist, indelicacy and having a disaggregated attitude”.
In 1935, Kouyaté wrote a letter to the Ethiopian leader, Haile Selassie where he pledged to do everything possible, including the provision of material support, to defend the country against the Italian invasion.As part of movement against the war and the occupation of Ethiopia by fascist Italy, Kouyaté also participated in the founding of the Ethiopian Defense Committee, going as far as writing articles on the county in El Ouma, the organization’s journal. In addition to that, he organized protests against the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. In December 1935, he created a monthly magazine named Africa in which he used to continue his campaign for the independence of the colonies and call for the reforms for the benefit of Africans.
The specific circumstances surrounding the death of Tiemoko Garan Kouyaté’s are uncertain. One theory believes that he was entrusted with money for propaganda by the Germans but kept it for himself leading to his demise during the Nazi occupation of France.
Léopold Sédar Senghor was a Senegalese poet, politician and cultural theorist who was the first president of Senegal (1960–80).
French Sudan was a French colonial territory in the Federation of French West Africa from around 1880 until 1959, when it joined the Mali Federation, and then in 1960, when it became the independent state of Mali. The colony was formally called French Sudan from 1890 until 1899 and then again from 1921 until 1958, and had a variety of different names over the course of its existence. The colony was initially established largely as a military project led by French troops, but in the mid-1890s it came under civilian administration.
French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in West Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Dahomey and Niger. The federation existed from 1895 until 1958. Its capital was Saint-Louis, Senegal until 1902, and then Dakar until the federation's collapse in 1960.
African socialism or Afrosocialism is a belief in sharing economic resources in a traditional African way, as distinct from classical socialism. Many African politicians of the 1950s and 1960s professed their support for African socialism, although definitions and interpretations of this term varied considerably. These politicians include Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Modibo Keita of Mali, among others.
Négritude is a framework of critique and literary theory, developed mainly by francophone intellectuals, writers, and politicians of the African diaspora during the 1930s, aimed at raising and cultivating "Black consciousness" across Africa and its diaspora. Négritude gathers writers such as sisters Paulette and Jeanne Nardal, Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, Abdoulaye Sadji, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Léon Damas of French Guiana. Négritude intellectuals disavowed colonialism, racism and Eurocentrism. They promoted African culture within a framework of persistent Franco-African ties. The intellectuals employed Marxist political philosophy, in the Black radical tradition. The writers drew heavily on a surrealist literary style, and some say they were also influenced somewhat by the Surrealist stylistics, and in their work often explored the experience of diasporic being, asserting one's self and identity, and ideas of home, home-going and belonging.
George Padmore, born Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse, was a leading Pan-Africanist, journalist, and author. He left his native Trinidad in 1924 to study medicine in the United States, where he also joined the Communist Party.
The Rassemblement Démocratique Africain, commonly known as the RDA and variously translated as African Democratic Assembly and African Democratic Rally, was a political party in French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa which was important in the decolonization of the French empire. The RDA was composed of different political parties throughout the French colonies in Africa and lasted from 1946 until 1958. At certain points, the RDA was the largest political party in the colonies in Africa and played a key role in the French government headed by the Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance (UDSR). Although the regional party largely dissolved in 1958 with the independence votes for the colonies, many of the national parties retained the RDA in their name and some continue to do so. The political ideology of the party did not endorse outright secession of colonies from France, but it was anti-colonial and pan-Africanist in its political stances.
Garan Fabou Kouyaté was a Malian civil and social figure. He was a member of Mali's Association for Unity and the Progress of Islam (AMUPI), Director of Mali's first Islamic radio La Voix du Coran et du Hadith and a member of Mali's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) as representative of religious associations. Prior to that civil society career, he was very much involved with soccer, having been referee, founder and first President of the Ligue Régionale de Football de Ségou, and founding member and Vice-Chair of Referee Commission of Malian Football Federation. He was commonly called "Ba Garan".
Amadou Lamine-Guèye was a Senegalese politician who became leader of the Parti Sénégalais de l'Action Socialiste. In 1945 he and his associate, Léopold Sédar Senghor, were elected to represent Senegal in the French National Assembly. Gueye was also elected to the French Senate in 1958.
The League against Imperialism and Colonial Oppression was a transnational anti-imperialist organization in the interwar period. It has been referenced as in many texts as World Anti-Imperialist League or simply and confusingly under the misnomer Anti-Imperialist League.
While black people in Nazi Germany were never subject to an organized mass extermination program, as in the cases of Jews, homosexuals, Romani, and Slavs, they were still considered by the Nazis to be an inferior race and along with Romani people were subject to the Nuremberg Laws under a supplementary decree. There is evidence that at least two dozen black Germans ended up in concentration camps in Germany.
Lamine Diakhate was an author, poet and literary critic of the négritude school and has served his country as a politician and diplomat.
The Malian Party of Labour is a Marxist-Leninist party in Mali and a member of the coalition supporting the Alliance for Democracy in Mali of president Amadou Toumani Touré. Founded in 1965, it was prominent in the student resistance to the 1968-1991 military regime of General Moussa Traoré. It continues as an extra-parliamentary Hoxhaist-Communist faction within the Social-Democratic ADEMA-PASJ coalition, supporters of the Alliance for Democracy and Progress.
The word negrophilia is derived from the French négrophilie that means "love of the Negro". It was a term that avant-garde artists used among themselves to describe their fetishization of Black culture. Its origins were concurrent with art movements such as surrealism and Dadaism in the late 19th century. Sources of inspiration were inanimate African art objects such as masks and wooden carvings that found their way into Paris's flea markets and galleries alike as a result of colonial looting of Africa, and which inspired artworks such as Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, as well as live performances by Black people, many of whom were ex-soldiers remaining in European cities after World War I, who had no choice but to entertain as a source of income. Equally of interest to avant-garde creators were live arts such as dance, music and theatrical performances by Black artists, as evidenced by the popularity of comic artist Chocolat and the musical review Les Heureux Nègres (1902).
Elections to the French National Assembly were held in the constituency of Mauritania–Senegal on 21 October 1945 as part of the wider parliamentary elections. Two members were elected from the seat, with the winners being French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) candidates Lamine Guèye and Léopold Sédar Senghor.
Jeanne "Jane" Nardal was a French writer, philosopher, teacher, and political commentator from Martinique. She and her sister, Paulette Nardal, are considered to have laid the theoretical and philosophical groundwork of the Négritude movement, a cultural, political, and literary movement, which first emerged in 1930s, Paris and sought to unite Black intellectuals in the current and former French colonies. The term "Négritude" itself was coined by Martiniquan writer-activist Aimé Césaire, one of the three individuals formally recognized as the "fathers" of the cultural movement, along with Senegalese poet Léopold Senghor and French Guianese writer Léon Damas. It was not until relatively recently, however, that the women involved in the Négritude movement, including Jane and Paulette Nardal, began to receive the recognition they were due.
The World Committee Against War and Fascism was an international organization sponsored by the Communist International, that was active in the struggle against Fascism in the 1930s. During this period Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, Italy invaded Ethiopia and the Spanish Civil War broke out. Although some of the women involved were Communists whose priority was preventing attacks on the Soviet Union, many prominent pacifists with different ideologies were members or supporters of the committee. The World Committee sponsored subcommittees for Women and Students, and national committees in countries that included Spain, Britain, Mexico and Argentina. The Women's branches were particularly active and included feminist leaders such as Gabrielle Duchêne of France, Sylvia Pankhurst of Britain and Dolores Ibárruri of Spain.
Lamine Senghor was a Senegalese political activist, Senegalese nationalist, and member of the French Communist Party. He ran candidate in the Paris local elections in 1924. Nonetheless he remained committed to an independent Senegal and became part of the internationalised struggle against colonialism and imperialism.
Paulette Nardal was a French writer from Martinique, a journalist, and one of the drivers of the development of black literary consciousness. She was one of the authors involved in the creation of the Négritude genre and introduced French intellectuals to the works of members of the Harlem Renaissance through her translations.
The Ligue de défense de la race nègre was an originally French civil rights organization of Black persons. It was founded in 1927 out of a predecessor organization whose roots went back to 1924. Its headquarters were in Paris, but in 1932 the French organization was disbanded. Under the name Liga zur Verteidigung der Negerrasse, there was a German section in Berlin from 1929 to 1935.