Sunday, March 1, 2015

Black Skin, White Masks

Fanon, Frantz, Black Skin, White Masks, New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1967.

Available online.

Black Skin, White Masks (Peau noire, masques blancs, 1952) by Frantz Fanon, is a sociological study of the psychology of the racism and dehumanization inherent in situations of colonial domination.[1] With the application of historical interpretation, and the concomitant underlying social indictment, the psychiatrist Frantz Fanon formulated Black Skin, White Masks to combat the oppression of black people. He applied psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory to explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that Black people experience in a White world. That the divided self-perception of the Black Subject who has lost his native cultural origin, and embraced the culture of the Mother Country, produces an inferiority complex in the mind of the Black Subject, who then will try to appropriate and imitate the culture of the colonizer. Such behavior is more readily evident in upwardly mobile and educated black people who can afford to acquire status symbols within the world of the colonial ecumene, such as an education abroad and mastery of the language of the colonizer, the white masks.

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