Ignatius Nnaemeka Onwuategwu (PhD), Bartholomew Toochukwu Okeke


One of the marked features of the contemporary black African is his unquenchable desire to regain, in Sartre’ s phrase, his existential integrity. This implies "the original purity of his [black African] existence’. Before now, the black race is regarded as debased by the whites who claim to be the epitome of civilization and development in all its ramifications. They see the black race as having contributed nothing and can contribute almost nothing to the global development. This make them to increasingly question the rationality of the African which eventually is the necessary condition that makes one a human. As such, some like the French went to the extreme of trying to make French people of the blacks.  The negritude movement as championed by Leopold Sedar Senghor is as a result of this negative attitude of the whites against the blacks and it gears towards asserting the black identity. His drive is not for social progress, economic consolidation and stability but above all for self actualization through the resource of his being and culture. It is back to his root as source of his existence and survival as ‘a being in the world’ in Heidegger’s phrase. This work will adopt three methodologies in line with the theme under discussion. It employs expository, hermeneutic and critical approaches. First of all, the exposition of the epistemological theory of foundationalism will be made. Then, Negritude Movement will be interpreted hermeneutically in the light of the foundationalists theory. Finally, Senghor’s notion of negritude and the tenets of the foundationalists will be evaluated so as to see how much Senghor’s Negritude qualifies as a basic epistemological truth for the Negro- African as a way of affirming his identity.


Senghor, Negritude, Foundationalism, Affirmation, African Identity.

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