RBG Introduction to Frantz Fanon Studies


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RBG Introduction to Frantz Fanon Studies

  1. 1. RBG Blakademics March, 2010 Frantz Fanon: Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Revolutionary and Author f. Frantz Fanon and the Psychology of Oppression Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was a psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and author from Martinique. He was influential in the field of post-colonial studies and was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades. Page 1
  2. 2. RBG Blakademics March, 2010 Open Video Page 2
  3. 3. RBG Blakademics March, 2010 “BEST BOOK ON OPPRESSION I HAVE EVER STUDIED”Frantz Fanon and the Psychology of Oppression‎by Hussein Abdilahi Bulhan - Psychology - 2004 - 320pagesFrantz Fanon and the Psychology of Oppression ...Bulhan ...Link to the limited preview Title Page Table of Contents Index References Page 3
  4. 4. RBG Blakademics March, 2010Franz Fanon Say: "Racism is one of the most sick and twisted manifestations of White/European people’s oppression, exploitation and domination of humanity...although not all White/European people are racist, they benefit from it in one way or another and knowingly allow racism to exist…its reach is international in scope and transcends economic, political, social and spiritual belief systems...it is an evil and violent social construct used to justify White/European people’s crimes against humanity and to breed inferiority, fear and disunity among Black, Brown, Red and Yellow people...It has been the cause of untold pain and suffering to People of Color around the world…it is the single greatestproblem humanity faces today…if we are ever to rise as the HUMANRACE every one of us must defeat racism in all its shapes and forms(individual, institutional and cultural)…the struggle to end racismmust be a collective one that begins in our hearts and minds…wemust rise above our dependency on White/European systems and Page 4
  5. 5. RBG Blakademics March, 2010societies and connect with the creator and each other…our struggleagainst racism will be measured by how we think, feel and acttowards ourselves, our marriages, our families and our communitiesin Africa and around the world...independent of White/Europeanideas, values, morals and paradigms." Frantz Fanon BooksFrantz Fanons relatively short life yielded two potent and influentialstatements of anti-colonial revolutionary thought, Black Skin, White Masks(1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961), works which have madeFanon a prominent contributor to postcolonial studies.Fanon was born in 1925, to a middle-class family in the Frenchcolony of Martinique. He left Martinique in 1943, when hevolunteered to fight with the Free French in World War II, andhe remained in France after the war to study medicine andpsychiatry on scholarship in Lyon. Here he began writingpolitical essays and plays, and he married a Frenchwoman, JoseDuble. Before he left France, Fanon had already published hisfirst analysis of the effects of racism and colonization, BlackSkin, White Masks (BSWM), originally titled "An Essay for theDisalienation of Blacks," in part based on his lectures and experiences inLyon.BSWM is part manifesto, part analysis; it both presents Fanons personalexperience as a black intellectual in a whitened world and elaborates theways in which the colonizer/colonized relationship is normalized aspsychology. Because of his schooling and cultural background, the youngFanon conceived of himself as French, and the disorientation he felt after hisinitial encounter with French racism decisively shaped his psychologicaltheories about culture. Fanon inflects his medical and psychological practicewith the understanding that racism generates harmful psychologicalconstructs that both blind the black man to his subjection to a universalizedwhite norm and alienate his consciousness. A racist culture prohibitspsychological health in the black man.For Fanon, being colonized by a language has larger implications for onesconsciousness: "To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, tosupport the weight of a civilization" (17-18). Speaking French means thatone accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of theFrench, which identifies blackness with evil and sin. In an attempt to escapethe association of blackness with evil, the black man dons a white mask, orthinks of himself as a universal subject equally participating in a society that Page 5
  6. 6. RBG Blakademics March, 2010advocates an equality supposedly abstracted from personal appearance.Cultural values are internalized, or "epidermalized" into consciousness,creating a fundamental disjuncture between the black mans consciousnessand his body. Under these conditions, the black man is necessarily alienatedfrom himself.Fanon insists, however, that the category "white" depends for its stability onits negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come intobeing at the moment of imperial conquest. Thus, Fanon locates the historicalpoint at which certain psychological formations became possible, and heprovides an important analysis of how historically-bound cultural systems,such as the Orientalist discourse Edward Said describes, can perpetuatethemselves as psychology. While Fanon charts the psychological oppressionof black men, his book should not be taken as an accurate portrait of theoppression of black women under similar conditions. The work of feminists inpostcolonial studies undercuts Fanons simplistic and unsympathetic portraitof the black womans complicity in colonization. In 1953, Fanon became Head of the Psychiatry Department at the Blida-Joinville Hospital in Algeria, where he instituted reform in patient care and desegregated the wards. During his tenure in Blida, the war for Algerian independence broke out, and Fanon was horrified by the stories of torture his patients -- both French torturers and Algerian torture victims -- told him. The Algerian War consolidated Fanons alienation from the French imperial viewpoint, and in 1956 he formally resigned his post with the French government to work for the Algerian cause. His letter of resignation encapsulates his theory of the psychology of colonialdomination, and pronounces the colonial mission incompatible with ethicalpsychiatric practice: "If psychiatry is the medical technique that aims toenable man no longer to be a stranger to his environment, I owe it to myselfto affirm that the Arab, permanently an alien in his own country, lives in astate of absolute depersonalization. . . . The events in Algeria are the logicalconsequence of an abortive attempt to decerebralize a people" (Toward theAfrican Revolution 53).Following his resignation, Fanon fled to Tunisia and began working openlywith the Algerian independence movement. In addition to seeing patients,Fanon wrote about the movement for a number of publications, includingSartres Les Temps Modernes, Presence Africaine, and the FLN newspaper elMoudjahid; some of his work from this period was collected posthumously asToward the African Revolution (1964). But Fanons work for Algerian Page 6
  7. 7. RBG Blakademics March, 2010independence was not confined to writing. During his tenure as Ambassadorto Ghana for the Provisional Algerian Government, he worked to establish asouthern supply route for the Algerian army.While in Ghana, Fanon developed leukemia, and though encouraged byfriends to rest, he refused. He completed his final and most fiery indictmentof the colonial condition, The Wretched of the Earth, in 10 months, and thebook was published by Jean-Paul Sartre in the year of his death. Fanon diedat the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he hadsought treatment for his cancer, on December 6, 1961. At his request, hisbody was returned to Algeria and buried with honors by the AlgerianNational Army of Liberation.In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon develops theManichean perspective implicit in BSWM. To overcome thebinary system in which black is bad and white is good,Fanon argues that an entirely new world must come intobeing. This utopian desire, to be absolutely free of the past,requires total revolution, "absolute violence" (37). Violencepurifies, destroying not only the category of white, but thatof black too. According to Fanon, true revolution in Africacan only come from the peasants, or "fellaheen." Puttingpeasants at the vanguard of the revolution reveals theinfluence of the FLN, who based their operations in thecountryside, on Fanons thinking. Furthermore, this emphasis on the ruralunderclass highlights Fanons disgust with the greed and politicking of thecomprador bourgeoisie in new African nations. The brand of nationalismespoused by these classes, and even by the urban proletariat, is insufficientfor total revolution because such classes benefit from the economicstructures of imperialism. Fanon claims that non-agrarian revolutions endwhen urban classes consolidate their own power, without remaking theentire system. In his faith in the African peasantry as well as his emphasison language, Fanon anticipates the work of Ngugi Wa Thiongo, who findsrevolutionary artistic power among the peasants.Given Fanons importance to postcolonial studies, the obituaries marking hisdeath were small; the two inches of type offered by The New York Times andLe Monde inadequately describe his achievements and role. He has beeninfluential in both leftist and anti-racist political movements, and all of hisworks were translated into English in the decade following his death. Hiswork stands as an important influence on current postcolonial theorists,notably Homi Bhabha and Edward Said.British director Isaac Juliens Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996)has recently been released by California Newsreel. Weaving togetherinterviews with family members and friends, documentary footage, readingsfrom Fanons work, and dramatizations of crucial moments in his life, the Page 7
  8. 8. RBG Blakademics March, 2010film reveals not just the facts of Fanons brief and remarkably eventful lifebut his long and tortuous journey as well. In the course of the film, criticsStuart Hall and Françoise Verges position Fanons work in his own time anddraw out its implications for our own.Chapter Extract:Reciprocal Bases of National Culture and the Fightfor FreedomSource: Reproduced from Wretched of the Earth (1959) publ. Pelican.Speech to Congress of Black African WritersColonial domination, because it is total and tends to over-simplify, verysoon manages to disrupt in spectacular fashion the cultural life of aconquered people. This cultural obliteration is made possible by thenegation of national reality, by new legal relations introduced by theoccupying power, by the banishment of the natives and their customs tooutlying districts by colonial society, by expropriation, and by thesystematic enslaving of men and women.Three years ago at our first congress I showed that, in the colonial situation,dynamism is replaced fairly quickly by a substantification of the attitudes ofthe colonizing power. The area of culture is then marked off by fences andsignposts. These are in fact so many defense mechanisms of the mostelementary type, comparable for more than one good reason to the simpleinstinct for preservation. The interest of this period for us is that theoppressor does not manage to convince himself of the objective non-existence of the oppressed nation and its culture. Every effort is made tobring the colonized person to admit the inferiority of his culture which hasbeen transformed into instinctive patterns of Behaviour, to recognize theunreality of his nation, and, in the last extreme, the confused and imperfectcharacter of his own biological structure. Page 8
  9. 9. RBG Blakademics March, 2010Vis-à-vis this state of affairs, the natives reactions are not unanimous. Whilethe mass of the people maintain intact traditions which are completelydifferent from those of the colonial situation, and the artisan style solidifiesinto a formalism which is more and more stereotyped, the intellectual throwshimself in frenzied fashion into the frantic acquisition of the culture of theoccupying power and takes every opportunity of unfavorably criticizing hisown national culture, or else takes refuge in setting out and substantiatingthe claims of that culture in a way that is passionate but rapidly becomesunproductive.The common nature of these two reactions lies in the fact that they bothlead to impossible contradictions. Whether a turncoat or a substantialist thenative is ineffectual precisely because the analysis of the colonial situation isnot carried out on strict lines. The colonial situation calls a halt to nationalculture in almost every field. Within the framework of colonial dominationthere is not and there will never be such phenomena as new culturaldepartures or changes in the national culture. Here and there valiantattempts are sometimes made to reanimate the cultural dynamic and to givefresh impulses to its themes, its forms and its tonalities. The immediate,palpable and obvious interest of such leaps ahead is nil. But if we follow upthe consequences to the very end we see that preparations are being thusmade to brush the cobwebs off national consciousness to questionoppression and to open up the struggle for freedom.A national culture under colonial domination is a contested culture whosedestruction is sought in systematic fashion. It very quickly becomes aculture condemned to secrecy. This idea of clandestine culture isimmediately seen in the reactions of the occupying power which interpretsattachment to traditions as faithfulness to the spirit of the nation and as arefusal to submit. This persistence in following forms of culture which are Page 9
  10. 10. RBG Blakademics March, 2010already condemned to extinction is already a demonstration of nationality;but it is a demonstration which is a throw-back to the laws of inertia. Thereis no taking of the offensive and no redefining of relationships. There issimply a concentration on a hard core of culture which is becoming more andmore shrivelled up, inert and empty.By the time a century or two of exploitation has passed there comes about averitable emaciation of the stock of national culture. It becomes a set ofautomatic habits, some traditions of dress and a few broken-downinstitutions. Little movement can be discerned in such remnants of culture;there is no real creativity and no overflowing life. The poverty of the people,national oppression and the inhibition of culture are one and the same thing.After a century of colonial domination we find a culture which is rigid in theextreme, or rather what we find are the dregs of culture, its mineral strata.The withering away of the reality of the nation and the death-pangs of thenational culture are linked to each other in mutual dependences. This is whyit is of capital importance to follow the evolution of these relations during thestruggle for national freedom. The negation of the natives culture, thecontempt for any manifestation of culture whether active or emotional andthe placing outside the pale of all specialized branches of organizationcontribute to breed aggressive patterns of conduct in the native. But thesepatterns of conduct are of the reflexive type; they are poorly differentiated,anarchic and ineffective. Colonial exploitation, poverty and endemic faminedrive the native more and more to open, organized revolt. The necessity foran open and decisive breach is formed progressively and imperceptibly, andcomes to be felt by the great majority of the people. Those tensions whichhitherto were non-existent come into being. International events, thecollapse of whole sections of colonial empires and the contradictions inherentin the colonial system strengthen and uphold the natives combatively whilepromoting and giving support to national consciousness. Page 10
  11. 11. RBG Blakademics March, 2010These new-found tensions which are present at all stages in the real natureof colonialism have their repercussions on the cultural plane. In literature,for example, there is relative over-production. From being a reply on a minorscale to the dominating power, the literature produced by natives becomesdifferentiated and makes itself into a will to particularism. The intelligentsia,which during the period of repression was essentially a consuming public,now themselves become producers. This literature at first chooses to confineitself to the tragic and poetic style; but later on novels, short stories andessays are attempted. It is as if a kind of internal organization or law ofexpression existed which wills that poetic expression become less frequent inproportion as the objectives and the methods of the struggle for liberationbecome more precise. Themes are completely altered; in fact, we find lessand less of bitter, hopeless recrimination and less also of that violent,resounding, florid writing which on the whole serves to reassure theoccupying power. The colonialists have in former times encouraged thesemodes of expression and made their existence possible. Stingingdenunciations, the exposing of distressing conditions and passions which findtheir outlet in expression are in fact assimilated by the occupying power in acathartic process. To aid such processes is in a certain sense to avoid theirdramatization and to clear the atmosphere. But such a situation can only betransitory. In fact, the progress of national consciousness among the peoplemodifies and gives precision to the literary utterances of the nativeintellectual. The continued cohesion of the people constitutes for theintellectual an invitation to go farther than his cry of protest. The lament firstmakes the indictment; then it makes an appeal. In the period that follows,the words of command are heard. The crystallization of the nationalconsciousness will both disrupt literary styles and themes, and also create acompletely new public. While at the beginning the native intellectual used toproduce his work to be read exclusively by the oppressor, whether with the Page 11
  12. 12. RBG Blakademics March, 2010intention of charming him or of denouncing him through ethnical orsubjectivist means, now the native writer progressively takes on the habit ofaddressing his own people.It is only from that moment that we can speak of a national literature. Herethere is, at the level of literary creation, the taking up and clarification ofthemes which are typically nationalist. This may be properly called aliterature of combat, in the sense that it calls on the whole people to fight fortheir existence as a nation. It is a literature of combat, because it mouldsthe national consciousness, giving it form and contours and flinging openbefore it new and boundless horizons; it is a literature of combat because itassumes responsibility, and because it is the will to liberty expressed interms of time and space.On another level, the oral tradition - stories, epics and songs of the people -which formerly were filed away as set pieces are now beginning to change.The storytellers who used to relate inert episodes now bring them alive andintroduce into them modifications which are increasingly fundamental. Thereis a tendency to bring conflicts up to date and to modernize the kinds ofstruggle which the stories evoke, together with the names of heroes and thetypes of weapons. The method of allusion is more and more widely used.The formula This all happened long ago is substituted by that of What weare going to speak of happened somewhere else, but it might well havehappened here today, and it might happen tomorrow. The example ofAlgeria is significant in this context. From 1952-3 on, the storytellers, whowere before that time stereotyped and tedious to listen to, completelyoverturned their traditional methods of storytelling and the contents of theirtales. Their public, which was formerly scattered, became compact. The epic,with its typified categories, reappeared; it became an authentic form ofentertainment which took on once more a cultural value. Colonialism made Page 12
  13. 13. RBG Blakademics March, 2010no mistake when from 1955 on it proceeded to arrest these storytellerssystematically.The contact of the people with the new movement gives rise to a newrhythm of life and to forgotten muscular tensions, and develops theimagination. Every time the storyteller relates a fresh episode to his public,he presides over a real invocation. The existence of a new type of man isrevealed to the public. The present is no longer turned in upon itself butspread out for all to see. The storyteller once more gives free rein to hisimagination; he makes innovations and he creates a work of art. It evenhappens that the characters, which are barely ready for such atransformation - highway robbers or more or less antisocial vagabonds -, aretaken up and remodeled. The emergence of the imagination and of thecreative urge in the songs and epic stories of a colonized country is worthfollowing. The storyteller replies to the expectant people by successiveapproximations, and makes his way, apparently alone but in fact helped onby his public, towards the seeking out of new patterns, that is to saynational patterns. Comedy and farce disappear, or lose their attraction. Asfor dramatization, it is no longer placed on the plane of the troubledintellectual and his tormented conscience. By losing its characteristics ofdespair and revolt, the drama becomes part of the common lot of the peopleand forms part of an action in preparation or already in progress.Where handicrafts are concerned, the forms of expression which formerlywere the dregs of art, surviving as if in a daze, now begin to reach out.Woodwork, for .example, which formerly turned out certain faces andattitudes by the million, begins to be differentiated. The inexpressive oroverwrought mask comes to life and the arms tend to be raised from thebody as if to sketch an action. Compositions containing two, three or fivefigures appear. The traditional schools are led on to creative efforts by the Page 13
  14. 14. RBG Blakademics March, 2010rising avalanche of amateurs or of critics. This new vigor in this sector ofcultural life very often passes unseen; and yet its contribution to the nationaleffort is of capital importance. By carving figures and faces which are full oflife, and by taking as his theme a group fixed on the same pedestal, theartist invites participation in an organized movement.If we study the repercussions of the awakening of national consciousness inthe domains of ceramics and pottery-making, the same observations may bedrawn. Formalism is abandoned in the craftsmans work. Jugs, jars and traysare modified, at first imperceptibly, then almost savagely. The colors, ofwhich formerly there were but few and which obeyed the traditional rules ofharmony, increase in number and are influenced by the repercussion of therising revolution. Certain ochre’s and blues, which seemed forbidden to alleternity in a given cultural area, now assert themselves without giving riseto scandal. In the same way the stylization of the human face, whichaccording to sociologists is typical of very clearly defined regions, becomessuddenly completely relative. The specialist coming from the home countryand the ethnologist are quick to note these changes. On the whole suchchanges are condemned in the name of a rigid code of artistic style and of acultural life which grows up at the heart of the colonial system. Thecolonialist specialists do not recognize these new forms and rush to the helpof the traditions of the indigenous society. It is the colonialists who becomethe defenders of the native style. We remember perfectly, and the exampletook on a certain measure of importance since the real nature of colonialismwas not involved, the reactions of the white jazz specialists when after theSecond World War new styles such as the be-bop took definite shape. Thefact is that in their eyes jazz should only be the despairing, broken-downnostalgia of an old Negro who is trapped between five glasses of whisky, thecurse of his race, and the racial hatred of the white men. As soon as theNegro comes to an understanding of himself, and understands the rest of Page 14
  15. 15. RBG Blakademics March, 2010the world differently, when he gives birth to hope and forces back the racistuniverse, it is clear that his trumpet sounds more clearly and his voice lesshoarsely. The new fashions in jazz are not simply born of economiccompetition. We must without any doubt see in them one of theconsequences of the defeat, slow but sure, of the southern world of theUnited States. And it is not utopian to suppose that in fifty years time thetype of jazz howl hiccupped by a poor misfortunate Negro will be upheld onlyby the whites who believe in it as an expression of nigger-hood, and who arefaithful to this arrested image of a type of relationship.We might in the same way seek and find in dancing, singing, and traditionalrites and ceremonies the same upward-springing trend, and make out thesame changes and the same impatience in this field. Well before the politicalor fighting phase of the national movement an attentive spectator can thusfeel and see the manifestation of new vigor and feel the approachingconflict. He will note unusual forms of expression and themes which arefresh and imbued with a power which is no longer that of invocation butrather of the assembling of the people, a summoning together for a precisepurpose. Everything works together to awaken the natives sensibility and tomake unreal and unacceptable the contemplative attitude, or the acceptanceof defeat. The native rebuilds his perceptions because he renews thepurpose and dynamism of the craftsmen, of dancing and music and ofliterature and the oral tradition. His world comes to lose its accursedcharacter. The conditions necessary for the inevitable conflict are broughttogether.We have noted the appearance of the movement in cultural forms and wehave seen that this movement and these new forms are linked to the stateof maturity of the national consciousness. Now, this movement tends more Page 15
  16. 16. RBG Blakademics March, 2010and more to express itself objectively, in institutions. From thence comesthe need for a national existence, whatever the cost.A frequent mistake, and one which is moreover hardly justifiable is to try tofind cultural expressions for and to give new values to native culture withinthe framework of colonial domination. This is why we arrive at a propositionwhich at first sight seems paradoxical: the fact that in a colonized countrythe most elementary, most savage and the most undifferentiatednationalism is the most fervent and efficient means of defending nationalculture. For culture is first the expression of a nation, the expression of itspreferences, of its taboos and of its patterns. It is at every stage of thewhole of society that other taboos, values and patterns are formed. Anational culture is the sum total of all these appraisals; it is the result ofinternal and external extensions exerted over society as a whole and also atevery level of that society. In the colonial situation, culture, which is doublydeprived of the support of the nation and of the state, falls away and dies.The condition for its existence is therefore national liberation and therenaissance of the state.The nation is not only the condition of culture, its fruitfulness, its continuousrenewal, and its deepening. It is also a necessity. It is the fight for nationalexistence which sets culture moving and opens to it the doors of creation.Later on it is the nation which will ensure the conditions and frameworknecessary to culture. The nation gathers together the various indispensableelements necessary for the creation of a culture, those elements which alonecan give it credibility, validity, life and creative power. In the same way it isits national character that will make such a culture open to other culturesand which will enable it to influence and permeate other cultures. A non-existent culture can hardly be expected to have bearing on reality, or toinfluence reality. The first necessity is the re-establishment of the nation in Page 16
  17. 17. RBG Blakademics March, 2010order to give life to national culture in the strictly biological sense of thephrase.Thus we have followed the break-up of the old strata of culture, a shatteringwhich becomes increasingly fundamental; and we have noticed, on the eveof the decisive conflict for national freedom, the renewing of forms ofexpression and the rebirth of the imagination. There remains one essentialquestion: what are the relations between the struggle - whether political ormilitary - and culture? Is there a suspension of culture during the conflict? Isthe national struggle an expression of a culture? Finally, ought one to saythat the battle for freedom, however fertile a posteriori with regard toculture, is in itself a negation of culture? In short is the struggle forliberation a cultural phenomenon or not?We believe that the conscious and organized undertaking by a colonizedpeople to re-establish the sovereignty of that nation constitutes the mostcomplete and obvious cultural manifestation that exists. It is not alone thesuccess of the struggle which afterwards gives validity and vigor to culture;culture is not put into cold storage during the conflict. The struggle itself inits development and in its internal progression sends culture along differentpaths and traces out entirely new ones for it. The struggle for freedom doesnot give back to the national culture its former value and shapes; thisstruggle which aims at a fundamentally different set of relations betweenmen cannot leave intact either the form or the content of the peoplesculture. After the conflict there is not only the disappearance of colonialismbut also the disappearance of the colonized man.This new humanity cannot do otherwise than define a new humanism bothfor itself and for others. It is prefigured in the objectives and methods of theconflict. A struggle which mobilizes all classes of the people and whichexpresses their aims and their impatience, which is not afraid to count Page 17
  18. 18. RBG Blakademics March, 2010almost exclusively on the peoples support, will of necessity triumph. Thevalue of this type of conflict is that it supplies the maximum of conditionsnecessary for the development and aims of culture. After national freedomhas been obtained in these conditions, there is no such painful culturalindecision which is found in certain countries which are newly independent,because the nation by its manner of coming into being and in the terms ofits existence exerts a fundamental influence over culture. A nation which isborn of the peoples concerted action and which embodies the realaspirations of the people while changing the state cannot exist save in theexpression of exceptionally rich forms of culture.The natives who are anxious for the culture of their country and who wish togive to it a universal dimension ought not therefore to place their confidencein the single principle of inevitable, undifferentiated independence writteninto the consciousness of the people in order to achieve their task. Theliberation of the nation is one thing; the methods and popular content of thefight are another. It seems to me that the future of national culture and itsriches are equally also part and parcel of the values which have ordained thestruggle for freedom.And now it is time to denounce certain pharisees. National claims, it is hereand there stated, are a phase that humanity has left behind. It is the day ofgreat concerted actions, and retarded nationalists ought in consequence toset their mistakes aright. We, however, consider that the mistake, whichmay have very serious consequences, lies in wishing to skip the nationalperiod. If culture is the expression of national consciousness, I will nothesitate to affirm that in the case with which we are dealing it is the nationalconsciousness which is the most elaborate form of culture. Page 18
  19. 19. RBG Blakademics March, 2010The consciousness of self is not the closing of a door to communication.Philosophic thought teaches us, on the contrary, that it is its guarantee.National consciousness, which is not nationalism, is the only thing that willgive us an international dimension. This problem of national consciousnessand of national culture takes on in Africa a special dimension. The birth ofnational consciousness in Africa has a strictly contemporaneous connexionwith the African consciousness. The responsibility of the African as regardsnational culture is also a responsibility with regard to African-Negro culture.This joint responsibility is not the fact of a metaphysical principle but theawareness of a simple rule which wills that every independent nation in anAfrica where colonialism is still entrenched is an encircled nation, a nationwhich is fragile and in permanent danger.If man is known by his acts, then we will say that the most urgent thingtoday for the intellectual is to build up his nation. If this building up is true,that is to say if it interprets the manifest will of the people and reveals theeager African peoples, then the building of a nation is of necessityaccompanied by the discovery and encouragement of universalizing values.Far from keeping aloof from other nations, therefore, it is national liberationwhich leads the nation to play its part on the stage of history. It is at theheart of national consciousness that international consciousness lives andgrows. And this two-fold emerging is ultimately the source of all culture. Page 19
  20. 20. RBG Blakademics March, 2010Works by Frantz FanonBlack Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove, 1967. Reprint of Peau noire,masques blancs. Paris, 1952.Studies in a Dying Colonialism, or A Dying Colonialism. New York, 1965.Reprint of Lan cinq de la revolution algerienne. Paris, 1959.The Wretched of the Earth. New York, 1965. Reprint of Les damnes de laterre. Paris, 1961.Toward the African Revolution. New York, 1967. Reprint of Pour la revolutionafricaine. Paris, 1964.Selected CriticismAbel, Lionel. "Seven Heroes of the New Left." The New York Times Magazine5 may 1968.Bhabha, Homi. "Interrogating Identity: Frantz Fanon and the PostcolonialPrerogative." The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994. 40-66.de Beauvoir, Simone. Force of Circumstance. New York: Putnam, 1964.Bergner, Gwen. "Who Is That Masked Woman? or, The Role of Gender inFanons Black Skin, White Masks." PMLA 110.1 (January 1995): 75-88.Caute, David. Frantz Fanon. New York: The Viking Press, 1970.Fuss, Diana. "Interior Colonies: Frantz Fanon and the Politics ofIdentification." Diacritics (Summer-Fall 1994): 20-42.Gates, Henry Louis. "Critical Fanonism." Critical Inquiry 17 (1992): 457-470.Geismar, Peter. Fanon. New York: The Dial Press, 1971.Gendzier, Irene L. Frantz Fanon: A Critical Study. New York: PantheonBooks-Random House, 1973.Gordon, Lewis R. Fanon and the Crisis of European Man. New York:Routledge, 1995."Homage to Frantz Fanon." Presence Africaine 12 (1962): 130-152. Tenwriters, politicians and scholars contributed to this special section, includingAime Césaire and Nkrumah.Memmi, Albert. "The Impossible Life of Frantz Fanon." Massachusetts Review(Winter 1973): 9-39.Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books-RandomHouse, 1993.Seigel, J. E. "On Frantz Fanon." American Scholar (Winter 1968): 84-96."Remembering Fanon." New Formations 1 (Spring 1987): 118-135. HomiBhabha, Stephan Feuchtwang and Barbara Harlow contributed to a specialsection remembering Fanon on the 25th anniversary of his death. Page 20
  21. 21. RBG Blakademics March, 2010RBGz Fanon BibliographyFanons writings  "The Fact of Blackness"(1952)  Black Skin, White Masks, transl. Charles Lam Markmann (1967 translation of the 1952 book: New York, Grove Press)  A Dying Colonialism  The Wretched of the Earth, transl. Constance Farrington (1963 translation of the 1961 book: New York, Grove Weidenfeld) Addditinal Books on Fanon  Alice Cherki, "Frantz Fanon. Portrait" (2000: Paris, Seuil)  Patrick Ehlen, Frantz Fanon: A Spiritual Biography (2001: New York, NY, Crossroad 8th Avenue) ISBN 0-8245-2354-7  Nigel C. Gibson [ed.], Rethinking Fanon: The Continuing Dialogue (1999: Amherst, New York, Humanity Books)  Nigel C. Gibson, Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination (2003: Oxford, Polity Press)  Lewis R. Gordon, Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: An Essay on Philosophy and the Human Sciences (1995: New York, Routledge)  Lewis R. Gordon, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, & Renee T. White [eds.] Fanon: A Critical Reader (1996: Oxford, Blackwell)  Azzedine Haddour [Ed. and introduced], "The Fanon Reader" (2006: London, Pluto Press)  David Macey, Frantz Fanon: A Biography (2000: New York, NY, Picador Press) ISBN 0-312-27550-1  Ato Sekyi-Otu, Fanons Dialectic of Experience (1996: Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press)  T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Frantz Fanon: Conflicts and Feminisms (1998: Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.)Films on Fanon  Isaac Julien, "Frantz Fanon: Black Skin White Mask" (a documentary) (1996: San Francisco, California Newsreel)  Christian Filostrat Interviews Frantz Fanons Wife Josie, November 16, 1978, Howard University’s African-American Center. Page 21
  22. 22. RBG Blakademics March, 2010References Resources: 1. Jennifer Poulos. "Frantz Fanon". Emory University. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. http://www.webcitation.org/5YeIdZauE. Retrieved on 17 June 2008. 2. Benjamin Graves. "Frantz Fanon: an Introduction". Political Discourse - Theories of Colonialism and Postcolonialism. National University of Singapore. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. http://www.webcitation.org/5YeJPpD1u. Retrieved on 14 February 2007. 3. Petri Liukkonen (2002). "Frantz Fanon (1925-1961)". Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. http://www.webcitation.org/5YeKOT6P7. Retrieved on 17 June 2008. 4. Sartre, Jean-Paul. "Preface". Fanon, Franz. Black Skin, White Masks, transl. Charles Lam Markmann (1967: New York, Grove Press) 5. "Extraits de la préface de Jean-Paul Sartre au «Les Damnés de la Terre» (Extracts from the preface by Jean-Paul Sartre to The Wretched of the Eeath)" (in French). Tambour Journal. http://www.tanbou.com/1996/SatreExtraits.htm. Retrieved on 14 February 2007. 6. Lewis R. Gordon, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, & Renee T. White [edd] Fanon: A Critical Reader (1996: Oxford, Blackwell) p 163 & Bianchi, Eugene C. The Religious Experience of Revolutionaries (1972 Doubleday) p 206 7. See the paper in the C.L.R. James journal by Richard Pithouse at: http://ccs.ukzn.ac.za/files/C.L.R.%20James%20Journal.pdfLink Outs:  Fanon and the Cultural Unconscious  (fr) Frantz Fanon : the cause of colonized peoples Page 22