Full Text

Fanon, Frantz (1925–61)


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Martinican psychiatrist and revolutionary. After finishing his medical studies, Fanon published Black Skin, White Masks ( 1952 ), an existentialist psychological and socio-economic analysis of the effects of colonization in Martinique, where European C ulture had imposed “an existential deviation” (p. 16) on blacks. In that work, Fanon studied the processes of “epidermalization” and “lactification” – the interiorization of an inferiority complex based on socioeconomic iniquities, and the desire to “whiten the race” (p. 47) respectively. By analyzing these phenomena, Fanon meant to liberate “the man of color from himself” (p. 10), to achieve “the effective disalienation of the black man” (p. 12). In the opening chapter of Black Skin, White Masks , “The negro and language,” Fanon exposed the acculturating power of language in the colonial context. Asserting that “to speak is to exist absolutely for the other,” (p. 17) Fanon critiqued the inferior status attributed to Creole in favor of French as the language of “civilization” in the Antilles and demonstrated that the denigration of the local language as “inferior” was a key to understanding the dehumanization of colonization. Asserting that every colonized people “finds itself face to face with the language of the civilizing nation … the culture of the mother country,” Fanon observed that to speak the language of the colonizer ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top