T.J.'s Reviews > Black Skin, White Masks

Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
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May 13, 08

bookshelves: negritude, colonial-post-colonial
Recommended for: your favourite revolutionary-in-training; disaffected ethnic-studies liberals
Read in May, 2007

I think the world is better for the fact that I did not read this book until I was twenty-three. Were I seventeen...Oh boy.

My transition towards are more progressive and intensive understanding of my ethnic identity was already underway before I read Fanon, but I can only imagine what could've been if he'd been my first exposure.

Needless to say, this book is fiery, angry, powerful, engaging, and challenging. It made me wanted to read more Fanon, and cemented in my mind that my colonial studies were absolutely NECESSARY (as were those caps).

Fanon breaks down cultural conditioning in colonialism and attempts to directly create the identity politics in the French colonial system. Although the text doesn't age well in some places, showing its pan-Africanist and Marxist roots, the text is a must read for all you lil' revolutionaries out there.
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Quotes T.J. Liked

Frantz Fanon
“To speak pidgin to a Negro makes him angry, because he himself is a pidgin-nigger-talker. But, I will be told, there is no wish, no intention to anger him. I grant this; but it is just this absence of wish, this lack of interest, this indifference, this automatic manner of classifying him, imprisoning him, primitivizing him, decivilizing him, that makes him angry.

If a man who speaks pidgin to a man of color or an Arab does not see anything wrong or evil in such behavior, it is because he has never stopped to think.”
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks


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