So, Fanon is a political radical who works in the intersection of postcolonial, Marxist and black theories.
His work is heavily influenced by his background. He was born in Martinique in 1925, which at the time was a French colony.
When he was 18 he joined the Free French forces. This led him to Africa during WWII.
It was here in Africa during the war that Fanon really got to experience antiblack sentiment. He discussed how as his unit would liberate French outposts in Africa that white women would rather dance with fascists Italians than any of their black liberators. Cause Fascist was better than black at the time.
Fanon eventually was educated in France. It is here where he wrote what many consider his most influential book - Black Sink, White Masks. This was in 1952. The book examines how colonialism effects black people. Basically how colonialism necessarily forces black people into a subhuman position and has to be seen as less than for colonial systems to work. So most of the book looks at blackness versus whiteness and colonialism.
So then Fanon left France and went to Algeria. BTW - forgot to mention that Fanon is a psychiatrist. So, while here in Algeria he's working as a psychiatrist. He used socio-therapy and tried to connect with his patients cultural backgrounds during treatment. He ended up working primarily with two groups - French soldiers being treated for PTSD from carrying out torture to suppress anti-colonial resistance AND the Algerian torture victims.
The Wretched of the Earth is important because Fanon argues that colonized people have a right to use violence as a means to gain independence - that people who are being subjugated by other humans and therefore dehumanized are not bound to principles of humanity and violence is justified.
It also examines the role of class, race, culture, and violence.
Fanon's legacy was that his work became a major influence on several revolutionaries - Malcom X and Che Guevara to name some big names.
Fanon was also a major influence on the Black Panther Party.
So, essentially, Fanon's work is hugely important for understanding the relationship between oppressors and the oppressed. And is super important but most white people never talk about him - mostly because he's writing about what European/White powers fear most.
@dollhaus Thank you so much for this! Eloquently written, admirably clear, and more straightforward than anything I've ever written. It's frankly shocking to me that so many leftists that pride themselves on "reading theory" have no idea who he is, despite is incredible reach of influence on leftism on a global level. The more discussing him and his ideas, the better imo
@garfiald It was a rush job. But I'm glad I got the main points across. I figure a quick primer as to who Fanon was and how influential his work is on World History... despite so many people not knowing who he is... was a necessary thing to do.
I need to re-read his stuff to do a more in depth analysis of his works. But I'm definitely adding him to my list of theorists to talk about.
@dollhaus I'm sure you've seen it but just in case you have there's a thread on the veil in my pinned toots in which I discussed his lesser-known book about Algeria, which he wrote between Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth
@garfiald Will have to go check it out.
@dollhaus he's in my reading list (the pile of books judging me) but it's good to read more about him in an accessible format outside of essays.
@dollhaus Thank you for that!
@dollhaus Thanks for posting, That was an interesting read.
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