Négritude: From Poetry to Politics

Hosted by the Department of International History

Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, United Kingdom


Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren

LSE International History

Christina Ivey

LSE Government

Eileen Gbagbo

LSE International Relations


Dr Dina Gusejnova

Dr Dina Gusejnova

LSE International History

To celebrate Black History Month we showed an exclusive screening of Manthia Diawara's rarely shown documentary film "Négritude, a Dialogue between Soyinka and Senghor" (2015).

Malian director Manthia Diawara has used archival footage and interviews to organise an imagined dialogue between Léopold Sédar Senghor, the Senegalese poet and politician who was also one of the leaders of the Négritude movement, and Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian author who was the first African to win a Nobel Prize. According to Diawara, "the film probes the current relevance of the concept of Negritude, against the views of its many critics, not only to the decolonisation and independence movements of the 1950s and 1960s, but also to an understanding of the contemporary artistic and political scenes of nationalism, religious intolerance, multiculturalism, the exodus of Africans and other populations from the South, and xenophobic migration policies in the West". However, the film has also been criticised for obscuring the place of women in the Négritude movement.
The screening was followed by a discussion with Dr Imaobong Umoren, Christina Ivey and Eileen Gbagbo.

Dr Imaobong Umoren is Assistant Professor in International History of Gender at LSE.

Christina Ivey and Eileen Gbagbo are LSE students in the Department of Government and Department of International Relations, respectively.

Eileen is a third year International Relations student at the LSE where she serves as Secretary of the British People of Colour Society. She is a contributor to The Beaver, LSE’s student newspaper and is guest editor for this year’s Black History Month edition. Eileen is also an editor for The Republic, an African affairs journal with a keen focus on cultivating a deeper understanding of African history, culture and science. She is passionate about journalism and creative writing as they allow her to break down complex structural issues around race and religion. Eileen enjoys rugby and was a SLAMbassador poetry champion in 2015. She has performed at the Royal Festival Hall and Southbank Centre.

Christina is a 20-year old Jamaican studying Politics and International Relations, currently in her final year. She is the editor of Flipside, the magazine companion to The Beaver, LSE's only student newspaper. Christina has interned at gal-dem magazine and written for Elle UK. Additionally, she is the Community and Welfare Officer for LSESU Pride Alliance.

Sponsored by the department's Conflict and Identity in Europe since the 18th Century and the Pre-Modern East and West research clusters. by the department's Modern World History and The Americas in World History research clusters.

The Department of International History (@lsehistory) teaches and conducts research on the international history of Britain, Europe and the world from the early modern era up to the present day.


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Photo credit: Wole Soyinka via


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