Franz Fanon- Race and Colonialism Through a Psychoanalyst's Eyes

Essay by sparkup89High School, 11th grade April 2005

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Franz Fanon is known mainly for his writings on behalf of the national liberation of colonial peoples. In his book Black Skin, White Mask (1952), Fanon reflected his personal frustrations with racism. In his book The Wretched of the Earth (1961), which was publicized shortly before his death, Fanon was established as a dogmatic figure, the author of a 'social gospel' that coerced colonized people to free themselves of their degradation and let their liberty be achieved by violence against their European oppressors.

The national liberation struggle, which Fanon spoke for and Fanon's writings themselves served as a source of rational inspiration for the U.S. Black Civil Rights movement and subsequently the Women's Liberation movement.

"Colonial domination, because it is total and tends to over- simplify, very soon manages to disrupt in spectacular fashion - the cultural life of a conquered people. The cultural obliteration is made possible by the negotiation of national reality, by new legal relations introduced by the occupying power, by the banishment of the natives and their customs to

outlying districts, by colonial society, by expropriation, and by the systematic enslaving of men and women."

- Fanon, speech to congress of Black African Writers

This is saying, in my own interpretation, that when people are colonized they are stripped from their original culture and customs. Their way of life becomes transformed into a new society, one of their conquerors and instead of the transformation being recognized as corruption it is exulted as improvement of the nation. The nation is not made better, it is just made theirs, and I think Fanon was trying to say don't let them strip you of your nation, your culture, fight and take back what is yours and take pride in your traditions. Fanon also warns to the people coming out...