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Abstract

The closing weeks of the last decade brought with them the death of three distinguished world figures: Samuel Beckett, the Irish-French playwright, novelist, and poet; Andrei D. Sakharov, the Soviet nuclear physicist, human rights advocate, and leader in the international disarmament movement; and Birago I. Diop, the Senegalese poet, storyteller, and statesman. In the case of the former two, leading U.S. newspapers and other media paid merited tribute in the amplest of proportions; in case of the last, however, it was as if he had either never lived or had gained no standing of importance worthy of much attention. Diop was, it would appear from the behavior of the media, without presence; yet his work is no less significant to the world than that of the other two figures mentioned above. Ironically, he spent the greater part of his life seeking to establish the existence of a presence that the West had, for at least three hundred years, sought to deny.

[To the Reader: Please note that a number of footnotes are missing or misplaced in this published version of Dr. Langley’s article, "In Appreciation of Birago I. Diop: A Subtle Advocate of Négritude." You are invited to contact the author with questions related to the content or citations.]

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