Peau Noire Masques Blancs
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Peau Noire Masques Blancs

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  4,163 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Book by Fanon, Franz
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 1st 1971 by Points French (first published 1952)
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Francesca
fanon takes psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and his incredible mind and goes amazing places; evades being bogged down by psychoanalytic dogma, while using its concepts to tease out a living constellation of power relations and problems of race and representation. so apt and agile and fascinating that it gets my 5 stars despite its raging sexism, ablism, homophobia.

The first lines are just stunning.

"The explosion will not happen today. It is too soon... or too late.
I did not come with timeles...more
Dusty
There is plenty to critique in this book, and I think the urge to critique is heightened by the author's ubiquity.

For one, Fanon is deeply misogynist and homophobic. He writes that it is in refusing to acknowledge the black man that the white man strips him of his subjectivity, and yet he writes nary a word about the black woman. The greatest irony of the book is that the chapter entitled "The Woman of Color and the White Man" is really a chapter about how black men perceive black women, and it...more
Odi Shonga
This book is a must-read for any young person of colour who has found himself existentially agitated by, what one might call, his "condition". I don't mean that in a negative, medical sense; I mean it as in any condition, like the human condition. It's simply false to imply that it means nothing to be coloured in a post-colonial world. We can agree that it shouldn't mean anything, but it does, and so we have to grapple with that, and Frantz Fanon is a good way in.

It's written elegantly and it's...more
Alan
Aug 01, 2008 Alan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Questions:
On summary comparison, it's hard to overstate how bloodless and jilted the 2008 (Richard Philcox)translation seems next to to the 1967 Charles Lam Markmann. I don't speak French. However, I do read English. If Markmann's version is only so beautiful and compelling because he's taken liberties, I might be able to live with that. The worse accusation might be aimed at Philcox: has he made Fanon more staid and classical in attempts to make him feel more canonical? Isn't that kind of like...more
Ricado
Fanon remains one of my all time favorite writers. I was reading Blacks Skin, White Masks to compare how much things have really change in relation to the conditions of black people or people of color on a world scale. The only conclusion from reading this book is that the more things change the more they stay the same. Fanon had a deep insight into the psychological impact of racism and white supremacy on black people. In the case of South Africa black people remain a psychological minority , d...more
Matthew
As someone without much formal training in psychology or sociology, and (more significantly) as a white middle-class male, it difficult for me to find a comfortable vantage from which to discuss this book -- and perhaps that uneasiness is part of the point.

Fanon's exegesis of the impact of colonialism on colonized peoples, and the psychological displacement and cultural violence that arises from such interactions, is compelling and exact. Although his interpretations largely stem from a fairly...more
Patrick
As a black man, reading Fanon has had a profound, almost revolutionary impact on me. When I think about the past and how things were and how far we have come I shed tears of remorse for those of whom have fallen victim, been destroyed, been hated, been cast out, been taught to self hate,under the condescending eye of the white man.

But again as an individual, as an intellectual, and as a Christian there are principles that have come to define the philosophy I live by. Indicated by three simple ma...more
Ioana
"I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos... I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.” (p. 27)~ Thus Fanon reaches into the experience and meaning of the black man's alienation.

This alienation strikes in an essential sense--it stems from the denial of the black man's very flesh: "The black man is attack...more
Ana
I have to admit that I've always been skeptical of the works of psychology. I think it has to do with how we met (first incarnated in my high-school psychologist that was mainly concern in showing us how to use a pad and latter in my stereotype of female psychology undergrads always fashionably uniformed).

But, my late readings of books or articles that use either psychological or psychoanalytical theories have proof me wrong. It is time to let those images go. No prior judgment. Psychosis is eve...more
Hanan Alzu'bi
رائع رغم صعوبته خاصة بالانجليزية، فانون متقدم عن عصره بمراحل وعن عصرنا ربما، ينصح به.
Deborah Palmer
Excellent book. Some say his books are difficult to read but despite some of the medical/psychiatric termingologies he was always on point and what he writes is still relevant in today's world. He is a fantastic writer whose analogies and stories resonant with the 21st century reader.

Surprisingly I read Black Skin White Masks in two days. I had heard that this was a difficult book to read and understand but I did not have any trouble with it. Mr. Fanon did use plenty of medical terminologies how...more
Huyen
Mar 29, 2008 Huyen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: renee
Recommended to Huyen by: chris lamonica
Brilliant.
Not easy, but irresistible. In fact, some parts of it are very difficult to understand because they require a certain amount of understanding of psychoanalysis. The book is merely 200 pages but it took me a handsome 7 hours because there were some lines I had to read up to 5 times to finally grasp. Some parts are very random with a combination of excerpts from many different authors and don't follow a clear structure, which makes it a bit hard to follow. Some chapters feel like prose,...more
Gina
This book took me a little while to get through as I don't study a lot of psychology or philosophy and Fanon frequently references authors such as Sartre, Hegel, Mannoni, Césaire (a poet, but I don't read his work), etc. I really, really did not like chapter six where Fanon presents arguments from multiple psychoanalysts like Freud, Adler, and Jung. I just thought that was all unnecessary as Fanon provides it for the sake of a dialectical argument (you get to read all about repressed homosexuali...more
Meghan Moloney
Black Skin White Masks confused the hell out of me when I read it in second-year English lit. It was one of my first experiences with literary criticism and also with semiotics and the theories of difference and orientalism. We read it contextually along with Edward Said and Jacques Derrida. The previous semester I'd been introduced to and bewildered by Foucault, Judith Butler, and Lacan in my women's studies course, which was taught by an English professor - luckily for me, because those theori...more
Mohammed Abujayyab
This book is incredibly honest and would put Sartre's introduction to "The Wretched of the Earth" in context. If you don't want to go through the whole book; the introduction, the first chapter and the conclusion make the case about "the Black destiny" being "White". The most emotionally charged chapter for me that is worth coming back to more than once is the fifth. While many folks refer to this book and its central theme of psychoanalysis, I don't find the content as important as the emotiona...more
Joseph Nicolello
I am a little busy right now but this another fucking great book. I actually do want to write a thorough review on it but if you look hard enough you can find the brilliant text charitably pasted online without much effort. The introduction alone is Melvillean hair-standing immortal kind of proclamation. This year is off to such a great start reading-wise in the face of this savage blizzard. I hope the academic courses and other secret courses go equally as planned. I feel like a piece of shit f...more
janet
It was a truly liberating experience. The passion and poetry that he puts into his logic is breath-taking. Even though he uses some real heavies of the radical canon: Sartre, Freud-based work, Adler, Hegel, Cesaire, and Marx, his work is totally original and still feels intellectually fresh in terms of how he takes on racism. He drops some references that were new to me which I will definitely look up. There are some things specifically dealing with women that are definitely dated. Also, he deal...more
Jane
This is excellent, though (as with his other works) the misogyny and homophobia are offensive and should not be allowed off the hook. Fanon wrote this while he lived in France (it was his doctoral dissertation when he studied psychology at Lyon), and the rhetorical mode strikes me as very "French." By this, I mean above all that he is constantly using irony and sarcasm and enacting dialectics in the first person; you have to tread carefully to know when he is speaking "straight up" and when he i...more
Karlo Mikhail
A rambling mix of psychoanalytic discourse, philosophical insights, literary prowess, and righteous indignation against racism. But its wide range is as much its strength as well as its weakness. We have strong points every now and then. Yet this is drowned by an author grappling with the impacts of white oppression over the blacks but without clearly teasing out the corollary course of action. This is best read as an early work rather than a canon that defines Fanon. The weaknesses inthis work...more
Amy
So this seems like something I should have read while studying Black Studies in college, but maybe Fanon was a bit too intense for Santa Barbara. This book is fascinating in the exploration of the effects of colonization on the psychology/subconscious of black people (and really the flip side of that coin for white former-colonizers). While some of the thought seems outdated, it's easy to see how influential this book was for the Black Panthers, anti-colonial movements worldwide, and most direct...more
Amber Nefertari
This is by far one of the most difficult books for me to get through. The complex vernacular makes it extremely boring at times, but nonetheless a very insightful read about racism in France and Martinique. I always appreciate a history lesson on slavery outside of the United States. Fanon is an eloquent writer as one can plainly see by reading "Black Skin White Masks". I had to read this for my world history course and though it isn't my favorite piece of literature it is an important one. I le...more
D
I think it's fair to say that this book is gnarly. Fanon's mind was on fire when he wrote this analysis of colonial psychology. He uses Hegelian/Sartrean dialectics to explain what he sees as a psychopathology of the colonized, and calls for a new humanism that, controversially, rejects any necessary attachment to Blackness, calling for a universal recognition of consciousness. His analysis of the objectification of a racist society is entirely relevant today. An intense, important book.
Roisin
As someone who is mixed-race, I was interested in reading this book after seeing a film on Black people in France which was very fascinating. This book looks at black men, and the idea of the 'Negro', perceived throughout literature and experience, using psychoanalysis of people's dreams.

Using a mixture of works from literature, Jean Paul Sartre, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Aimé Cesaire, Octave Mannoni and other literary sources he tries to tackle this theme with passion.

When I started readi...more
John
A surprising work in many ways. It limns between literary analysis, personal account, academic discussion, and semi-apocalyptic prognostication. His language is very personal throughout and he is clearly inspired by Cesaire, though his relationship with psychoanalysis is much more complex. Glad I finally read it.
Nagisa
Very poetic and emotional. The book shows Fanon's subjective analysis and personal account of him being an intelligent black man born in a French colony, educated in Western ways, yet discriminated in France.
Fanon presents an interesting view from the colonized, and it exposes and criticizes racism prevalent in the West. Ironically, however, the book itself is promoting racist and sexist views. Fanon says, "The Japanese and the Chinese are ten times more prolific than the black population." (178...more
Rianna Jade
I really won't do this justice so I won't be bother, but I'll remind you to be critical especially when reading the chapters on the 'MOC and the white woman' and 'WOC and the white man'.
Murtaza
Frantz Fanon's writing is always bristling with a particular type of clinical anger. His heritage as both a physician and a revolutionary is very evident in his prose. In some ways philosophic anti-colonial works such as these feel dated, but at the same moment timeless. The same psychological habits which pervaded the world a few short decades ago - stark racism, bigotry and hypocrisy among them - continue to live on, although clothed in different garb.

There's not so much to say about this work...more
Bianca
Note: I took a break for like two months with 60 pages left in the book, so this review isn't the freshest. That being said I found Chapters 1-5 much more engaging than the latter chapters. Fanon being a psychiatrist by training uses the lexicon of psychology and psychiatry as if it's street talk which had me lost many times. Fanon drops a bomb in the introduction saying: "As painful as it is for us to have to say this: there is but one destiny for the black man. And it is white". I don't quite...more
Janastasia Whydra
I first heard about Frantz Fanon's "Black Skin, White Masks" in a "African Literature" course in graduate school. The course focused more on the history of European colonialism and occupation in Africa than on actual "literature" written by "Africans," but I digress. The professor had recommended this book, but it was not part of the assigned reading. So nearly two years later, I finally read the book that the professor hailed as the foundation for any study in colonialism. I have to agree with...more
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Hiding Behind Your Skin: Onwuegbute Vs Fanon 2 35 Dec 06, 2012 05:51AM  
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Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and author from Martinique. He was influential in the field of post-colonial studies and was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades.

فرانز فانون

طبيب نفسانيّ وفيلسوف اجتم...more
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The Wretched of the Earth A Dying Colonialism Toward the African Revolution Concerning Violence Fanon Reader

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“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are
presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new
evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it
is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize,
ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.”
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“I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos -- and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.” 95 likes
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