Black Skin White Mask

Topics: Colonialism, Race and Ethnicity, World War II Pages: 1 (331 words) Published: May 4, 2008
Frantz Fanon’s was a French psychiatrist and revolutionary writer, whose writings had profound influence on the radical movements in the 1960s in the United States and Europe. He was born in 1925, to a middle class family in the French colony of Martinique. In 1943, Frantz left Martinique, when he volunteered to fight with the Free French in the Second World War. He remained in France after the war to study medicine and psychiatry on scholarship in Lyon, whereby he began writing political essays and plays. During his stay in France, he published his first analysis of the effects of racism and colonization, Black Skin, White Masks (1952). In Black Sin, White Masks, Frantz Fanon analyses the impact of colonialism and its deforming effects, had a major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial and black consciousness movements around the world. He uses psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical theories to explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that “The Man of the Colour” (black) experience in the White world. He speaks of the divided self-perception of the Black Subject who has lost his native cultural originality and embraced the culture of the mother country. As a result of the inferiority complex engendered in the mind of the Black Subject, he will try to appropriate and imitate the cultural code of the colonizer. Fanon argued that white colonialism imposed an existentially false and degrading existence upon its black victims to the extent that it demanded their conformity to its distorted values. The colonized is not seen by the colonizer a human being; this is also the picture the colonized is forced to accept. Fanon demonstrates how the problem of race, of colour, connects with a whole range of words and images, starting from the symbol of the dark side of the soul. "Is not whiteness in symbols always ascribed in French to Justice, Truth, and Virginity?" Fanon examines race prejudices as a philosopher and psychologist although he acknowledges social and...
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