Black Skin, White Masks

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Photo of Black Skin, White Masks, 1952.Black Skin, White Masks, London, Pluto Press (2008).
by Frantz Fanon

Black Skin, White Masks is a sociological study of the psychology of racism and the dehumanization inherent to colonial domination.With the application of historical interpretation, and the concomitant underlying social indictment, Fanon formulated Black Skin, White Masks to combat the oppression of black people; and thus applied psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory to explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that Black people experience in a White world. Black Skin, White Masks is part manifesto, part analysis; it both presents Fanon’s personal experience as a black intellectual in a whitened world and elaborates the ways in which the colonizer/colonized relationship is normalized as psychology.

Frantz Fanon was a Martinique-born Afro-French psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and Marxism.As an intellectual, Fanon was a political radical, and an existentialist humanist concerning the psychopathology of colonization, and the human, social, and cultural consequences of decolonization. In the course of his work as a physician and psychiatrist, Fanon supported the Algerian War of Independence from France, and was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front. For more than four decades, the life and works of Frantz Fanon have inspired movements in Palestine, Sri Lanka, the U.S. and South Africa.

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