Blaise Diagne Biography
Birthday: October 13, 1872 (Libra)
Born In: Gorée
Blaise Diagne was one of the most important figures in the history of African politics. He fought diligently for equal rights as a citizen of France for the people of his home country of Senegal. Born in Senegal to traditional African parents, he was adopted by Adolphe Crespin at a young age. It was Crespin who gave him the name Blaise as his Christian name once he was baptized. This afforded him many opportunities not available to most African children, and he took full advantage. He excelled throughout school and eventually became a customs agent for the French government in 1892. For the next 22 years Diagne spent his days experiencing the negative side of colonialism. This experience had a big role in influencing his decision to get involved in politics. In 1914 he became the first black African in the French government, and his political career only went up from there. He eventually became the dominant political presence in Senegal's Four Communes, whose people he spent his entire career advocating for. From 1914 until his death in 1934 he never lost an election. This is a testament to his strong moral compass that guided his principle of equal rights for all.