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Black Skin, White Masks Paperback – January 7, 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
The book "Black Skin, White Masks" was written almost fifty years ago. This was during the time when decolonisation of the African continent and elsewhere was gathering momentum.
To adequately capture and assimilate Fanon's thinking of the question of colonialism and racism and their impact on the coloured people, one also needs to read Fanon's other great works: "The Wretched of the Earth" and "Dying Colonialism". Here one can see his anger and the background to his conclusion that it was only through violence that people of colour could liberate themselves from colonialism, particularly from mental bondage and inferiority complex that accompanied colonial subjugation.
In "Black Skin, White Masks", Fanon develops his thesis about the impact of inferiority complex of subjugated peoples and the alienation of some of them from their kind resulting in their wish to identified with the colonialists or imitate the European. There are a number of celebrated and classic cases of coloured people who have tried various formulas to change the colour of their skins, the tone of their voices or their names so that they sound more civilised (European).
Fanon's ideas about how the coloured people can liberate themselves (physically and mentally) influenced many leaders of revolutionary movements that were fighting colonialism.Read more ›
I learned from Fanon about the use of language as a colonialist tool, the terrible affect on African self esteem, the psychological turmoil that erupts as a result of the contact with white society.
It is clear the world is not the same today as it was in the 50's, but Fanon's book is just as relevant.
Quoting from Sartre talking about another book by Fanon: "Have the courage to read this book !".
The first aspect of critical importance was, what I felt Fanon's exploration of the psychology of being black, both male and female. Males pathologic plight lies in his desire to self-actualize and be seen as a man while women's plight derives from the need to be financial secure and to have assurance that her offspring will be not only taken cared of but in a socio-economic position higher than hers. Because of which, have incentives to go "white." Fanon indentifies the problem to be an economic issue at its root, and the epidermalization of inferiority at its core. The black intellectual is a special case, alienated by his fellow men adopted the vernacular and behavior of whites only to further push him from his people. Worse is the consciousness that the other culture (whites) did not fully accept you as their own, for the simple reason that you were "of a different kind." This was an ugly pathologic death spiral that would lead first to him hating all other blacks then me hating his self. On all account, this describes my very own psychology, and the general tone of so many blacks I've come across.
Second critical theme of this book was its exploration at all the "solutions" to the plight of blacks, usually espoused by blacks themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great early vision of African diaspora problems with colonialism.Published 2 months ago by garriton jones
there are good reads and bad reads. getting through the first two chapters of this books was equivalent to listening to the worst lecturer you have ever heard just droning on and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Yolie Win
Raw and honest. This text should be used in every social work program and other disciplines too.Published 4 months ago by MJeri
First off, this was a beautiful copy, in pristine condition and it arrived on time. Besides all that, I absolutely recommend for anyone interested in postcolonial theory,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Auxilio Lacouture