Patrice Lumumba  

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"Morning, noon and night we were subjected to jeers, insults and blows because we were "Negroes". Who will ever forget that the black was addressed as "tu", not because he was a friend, but because the polite "vous" was reserved for the white man?" --Patrice Lumumba, "Congolese Independence Speech" from The Truth about a Monstrous Crime of the Colonialists, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961, pp. 44-47. [1]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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The Speech at the Ceremony of the Proclamation of the Congo's Independence but it is often referred to as "Lumumba's Independence Speech" or similar. was a short political speech given by Patrice Lumumba on 30 June 1960. The address marked the independence of Congo-Léopoldville (the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) from Belgium and became a famous example of an attack on colonialism.

Lumumba, the first Congolese Prime Minister, gave the address during the official independence commemorations at the Palais de la Nation in Léopoldville (modern-day Kinshasa). The ceremony was intended to mark the harmonious end of Belgian rule and was attended by both Congolese and Belgian dignitaries, including King Baudouin. Lumumba's speech, which was itself unscheduled, was in large part a response to Baudouin's speech which argued that the end of colonial rule in the Congo had been depicted as the culmination of the Belgian "civilising mission" begun by Leopold II in the Congo Free State.

Lumumba's speech, broadcast live on the radio across the world, denounced colonialism and was interpreted as an affront to Belgium and Baudouin personally. While it was well-received within the Congo, it was widely condemned internationally as unnecessarily confrontational and for showing ingratitude at a time when Belgium had granted independence to the state. The speech nearly provoked a diplomatic incident between the Congo and Belgium, and Lumumba later gave further speeches attempting to adopt a more conciliatory tone.

The speech itself has since been praised for its use of political rhetoric, and is considered a landmark moment in the independence of the Congo. It has also been cited as a contributory factor to the subsequent Congo Crisis and in Lumumba's murder in 1961. Since its deliverance, the speech has been widely reprinted and has been depicted in paintings and film.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Patrice Lumumba" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.


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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Patrice Émery Lumumba (2 July 1925 – 17 January 1961) was a Congolese independence leader and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Patrice Lumumba" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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