By R. N. Egudu (auth.)
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The paper was naturally seen as a political organ through which the Negro voice against colonial domination could be heard. And even today, in spite of the em phasis of the exponen ts of negritude on its cultural orientation, some critics still see it more as a politicalcum-racial instrument than one primarily meant to assert the inner being of the black man. Thus Gerald Moore talks of what he regards as the 'complementary role' of the negro: The white world is this; therefore let us be that. The white world is too competitive; it is obsessed with speed; it's steel-hard; it's a mass of right angles; it externalizes everything; it abstracts everything.
12 Senghor himself, as indicated above, has sketched the evolution of the objectives of negritude - it started on a negative note and moved to a positive one; and the positive note affects the black world in being assertive of the black culture and the white world in being concerned with 'panhuman socialization'. If negritude shows us the human and cultural qualities of the black people, it means that they naturally possess those qualities. The black people cannot assume the qualities simply by wishing to possess them.
3 Responses to Apartheid The section of this chapter which deals with the poetry of Dennis Brutus has been published as 'Pictures of Pain: The poetry of Dennis Brutus', in Aspects of South African Literature, ed. Christopher Heywood (London: Heinemann, 1976) pp. 131-44. The modern African poets who wrote about colonialism were concerned with a past problem. Their poetry, like yam shoots, flowered out of the corpse of colonialism (though its ghost is still 'living' among Africans). But on the contrary the South African poets have painted and are painting from life: their model, Apartheid, is before them and very much alive in all its ugly aspects, terrorising the poets as they write and demonstrate various attitudes towards that enemy.