Citation Murphy D (2017) Race and the Legacy of the First World War in French Anti-Colonial Politics of the 1920s. In: Ewence H & Grady T (eds.) Minorities and the First World War: from war to peace. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 201-225. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-53975-5_8
Abstract There has been relatively little historical research on the small number of African veterans who stayed on in France after the First World War and became militants in the radical anti-colonial movements created in the 1920s. From his entry onto the political stage in late 1924 until his early death three years later, the most celebrated and feared of these anti-colonial militants was Lamine Senghor, a decorated war veteran from Senegal. This chapter will chart Senghor’s brief career as an activist, focusing primarily on the ways in which he projected his identity as a veteran in his speeches and writings, as well as exploring, more generally, how France’s “blood debt” to its colonial subjects became a key theme of anti-colonial discourse in the interwar period.
Keywords first world war; tirailleurs sénégalais; anti-colonialism;