“Noire est notre cause”: Paris 56, intellectuals and their role in independence (2)

Audio 48:30

Alioune Diop's portrait welcomes students in the hall of a library in Dakar.

© RFI / Laurent Correau

By: Valérie Nivelon

1 min

Second episode of our series "

Black is our cause

" or the engagement of black intellectuals in anti-colonial struggles.

In September 1956, black students flocked to the Sorbonne University to listen to their teachers.

Aimé Césaire, Jean Price-Mars, Amadou Hampaté Ba, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Cheikh Anta Diop, and the American Richard Wright.


Gathered in Paris to hold their first congress, black writers and artists ask themselves: how to define our black cultures and what role the intellectuals that we are can play in anti-colonial struggles?

At the heart of this unprecedented event, the Présence Africaine publishing house, under the aegis of its director Alioune Diop, initiator of the movement for the cause of blacks.

With the voices of

: Alioune Diop, Aimé Césaire, Jean Price-Mars, René Depestre, Richard Wright, Jacques Rabemananjara, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Roland Colin, Frantz Fanon, Lilyan Kesteloot, Paulin Joachim, Édouard Glissant.

And the participation of

Sarah Frioux Salgas

, head of archives at the Quai Branly Museum.

A program written by

Valérie Nivelon


Amaury Hauchard

, broadcast by

Cécile Pompeani


Sophie Janin.

Archives and unpublished testimonies

RFI and Ina sound documents

Dakar Festival 66 soundtrack

Our thanks to

Sarah Frioux Salgas

for sharing her personal archives, as well as to

Jacqueline Sorel

, former producer of RFI and

Françoise Delignon

our documentalist for the sound archives of RFI and Ina.

The African Presence website

Aimé Césaire (L) and Léopold Sedar Senghor (R).

Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone-Heinz Köster / ullstein bild


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  • France

  • Literature

  • Culture

  • Education

  • Africa

On the same subject

The walk of the world

"Cesaire, political animal"

The walk of the world

Freedom according to Frantz Fanon

The dance of words

Tribute to Edouard Glissant

Keywords: intellectuals, black, cause, paris 56, students, series, struggles, world, role, engagement, independence, episode, march, rfi, tosarah frioux salgasfor