Twentieth century African intellectuals played key roles in organizing anti-colonial movements and in articulating new ideas to build common national identities and to stimulate Pan-African consciousness in the period of African independence. This assignment asks you to reflect on the writings and speeches of African intellectuals and to take a position on which strategy, Pan-Africanism or Negritude, offered the most useful way forward for newly independent African nations. Read the writings of Léopold Sédar Senghor, poet and first president of the Republic of Senegal, and excerpts of speeches and writings by Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of the Republic of Ghana. Write a position paper that situates these two figures in the context of the rise of African nationalism and the role that African intellectuals played in shaping decolonization and independence. In the introduction to your essay make an argument about what approach best spoke to political, economic, social, and cultural realities of nation-building for African people at the moment of independence. In the body of your essay, explain the role of African intellectuals in the rise of African nationalism. Use their writings to explain for unfamiliar readers who these figures are, what ideas they exposed and why their ideas responded to African perspectives on colonialism and the impact of colonialism on African people. Conclude with your argument about which strategy offered a useful roadmap for independence. Don’t use other sources.

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