Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Skin, White Masks” as Want to Read:
Black Skin, White Masks
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black Skin, White Masks

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  7,432 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
First published in English in 1968, Frantz Fanon's seminal text was immediately acclaimed as a classic of black liberationalist writing. Fanon's descriptions of the feelings of inadequacy and dependence experienced by people of colour in a white world are as salient and as compelling as ever. Fanon identifies a devastating pathology at the heart of Western culture, a denia ...more
Paperback, New Edition, 186 pages
Published August 20th 2008 by Pluto Press (first published 1952)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Skin, White Masks, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Marion I don't know about editions but there's currently only 1 translation from french which apparently is not very good to the point where it changes some…moreI don't know about editions but there's currently only 1 translation from french which apparently is not very good to the point where it changes some of Fanon's concepts.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Bookdragon Sean
Black Skins White Masks is a scary book. In it Fanon discusses the black man’s experience in a white world; he ironically, and justly, creates an image of the world through a black lens, so to speak.

“The N**** enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behaves in accordance with a neurotic orientation.”


The crux of the work resides on the black man’s experience and how he is perceived, and how he is forced to perceive himself. Fanon argues that language is t
May 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
I appreciate this book and the way it turned the mirror back on me and made me question certain practices I have in the context of my "Blackness" and how I've been conditioned to assimilate to certain European cultural practices that I can never truly be a part of by de facto. This book is a must read for those who study topics of race relations, cultural studies, and Black/African/Afro-Caribbean history.

My only negative comment is that I wish Fanon would have devoted real time to looking at the
What is there to say? Purely and simply this: When a bachelor of philosophy from the Antilles refuses to apply for certification as a teacher on the ground of his color, I say that philosophy has never saved anyone. When someone else strives and strains to prove to me that black men are as intelligent as white men, I say that intelligence has never saved anyone; and that is true, for, if philosophy and intelligence are invoked to proclaim the equality of men, they have also been employed t
Odi Shonga
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
haunting and rightfully paranoid thought on anti-blackness as "psycho-existential structure", and for a psych h8r like myself an inspired bit of disciplinary criticism (from the vantage of the behaviourist turn, eyeing both philosophy and methods, with an absolutely cutting bit on adlerian psychoanalysis as a way of laundering and privatising general dishonour towards the end) and an example of what fanon himself calls "methodological dereliction". analysis at the tempo of emergency

a puzzle- dem
"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
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Merge books 3 43 Sep 13, 2016 03:53PM  
Hiding Behind Your Skin: Onwuegbute Vs Fanon 2 41 Dec 06, 2012 05:51AM  
  • Discourse on Colonialism
  • The Colonizer and the Colonized
  • The Location of Culture
  • The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness
  • Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference
  • Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition
  • Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest
  • Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature
  • A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present
  • Culture and Imperialism
  • Colonialism / Postcolonialism
  • Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism
  • Black Looks: Race and Representation
  • How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society
  • Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s
  • The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution
  • Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
  • Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule
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 about Frantz Fanon...
“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.”
“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.” 176 likes
More quotes…