In memory of Patrice Emery Lumumba : his speech at the Proclamation of the DRC’s independence—a systematic reflection

21 Oct 2021

The improvised speech of Patrice Emery Lumumba on June 30, 1960, the day the Democratic Republic of Congo gained its independence from Belgium, was criticised by Western media as being unwise and ungrateful towards the so-called civilising mission of Belgium in the Congo. Yet it was acclaimed by many Pan-Africanists and black power movements. In this article, the author systematically observes, reflects on, and analyses the speech. The author finds that it is a life-giving and hope-filled speech that called for a restoration of dignity and respect to black Congolese who suffered decades of oppression and exploitation at the hands of the colonial power.