Black History Month 2022

Day 6 of Black History Month Bernard Binlin DadiéBetter known as a novelist, playwright and poet, Bernard Binlin Dadié was also an able administrator, serving as Ivory Coast’s Minister of Culture. Inspired by Africa’s rich traditions, he tried to highlight them not only through his writings, but also by publishing several volumes of legends, fables, folktales, and proverbs, concurrently giving expression to Africa’s desire for equality and dignity.Dadié was born in Assinie, Côte d’Ivoire, and attended the local Catholic school in Grand Bassam and then the Ecole William Ponty. He worked for the French government in Dakar, Senegal, at the Institut français d’Afrique noire, then returned to his homeland in 1947. He became part of its movement for independence. Before Côte d’Ivoire’s independence in 1960, he was detained for sixteen months for taking part in demonstrations that opposed the French colonial government.In his writing, influenced by his experiences of colonialism as a child, Dadié attempts to connect the messages of traditional African folktales with the contemporary world. With Germain Coffi Gadeau and F. J. Amon d’Aby, he founded the Cercle Culturel et Folklorique de la Côte d’Ivoire (CCFCI) in 1953. In 1955, he published a collection called The Black Cloth: A Collection of African Folktales (in French).

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