Black Skin, White Masks

Frantz Fanon
Few modern voices have had as profound an impact on the black identity and critical race theory as Frantz Fanon, and Black Skin, White Masks  represents some of his most important work. Fanon’s masterwork is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers.A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.


Reviewed: 2021-08-08
This is an immensely poetic work, and I'm still largely baffled by the poetics of a lot of these Francophone anticolonial intellectuals (my mind goes to Mbembe's [b:On the Postcolony|149757|On the Postcolony|Achille Mbembe||144544] as another example). I want to understand better the function of this style, what it does, what it refuses; because it seems to me that it may be some kind of rebuke of something, but I'm not entirely sure what.
Other than that, this is clearly a brilliant work. It defies genre in basically every way, and more importantly, it (that is, Fanon himself) is conscious of that fact. It is kind of haunting in a lot of ways, and reading it makes clear its personal nature - i.e. that this is not just a political treatise, but a kind of autobiography in many ways as well. Fascinating, really.
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