Deepening Discourse: Frantz Fanon-“The Wretched of the Earth”

Deepening Discourse
Cover of the 1968 Grove Press Edition

Frantz Omar Fanon was born on the French occupied Caribbean island of Martinique in 1925. After a tour in World War II as a member of the Free French Forces exposed Fanon to the depths of European anti-black racism he began studies in psychopathology and medicine, developing the strong existential analysis on anti black racism and colonialism he is best known for today. While Fanon’s first book, his rejected doctoral thesis later published as “Black Skin, White Mask”, is an important and valuable read, “The Wretched of the Earth”, published near the end of his life and dictated while actively engaged in Algerian freedom operations, is the quintessential Fanon — a work steeped in both deep consideration and lived experience. Since its initial publication in 1961 it has served as inspiration for anti-colonial revolutionary movements around the world and has played a significant role in our collective and clinical understanding of the socio-psychological effects of colonization as well as the severe implications of it’s resistance. As an exploration of black national identity and the role of violence in anti-colonial liberation movements it’s voice is still masterfully relevant today. Nearly 60 years after its first French printing “The Wretched of the Earth” continues to shed much needed light on what it means to be faced with the brutal dehumanization of colonialism and what is required of humanity to atone for it. -BK

Frantz Fanon

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