Frantz Fanon : "Decolonizing, National Culture, and the Negro Intellectual"

"Decolonizing, National Culture, and the Negro Intellectual" (364-369)

"Frantz Omar Fanon (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was a French psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and author, born in Martinique. His work remains influential in the fields of post-colonial studies and critical theory. Fanon is known as a radical humanist thinker on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have incited and inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades" (Wikipedia).

Student of Césaire, Merleau-Ponty, contemporary of Sartre, de Beauvoir



  1. Decolonization is a psycho-social process. (364.9)
  2. Decolonization is an historical process. Changes the "order of the world." Unravels complex psychic relation between colonist and colonized. (365.5)
  3. "Liberation" is a process through which the colonized "thing" becomes a man. (365.6)
  4. Decolonization as implementation of "The last shall be first."
  5. Violence probably necessary if existing social order is to be inverted.
  6. To disorganize a society, you have to be willing to "smash every obstacle." (365.9)
  7. Colonized world is compartmentalized.
  8. In capitalism, false consciousness is encouraged by all manner of cultural forms. In colonized society, the colonized is kept in line by a much more bare-faced coercive force — police and soldier. (366.3)
  9. Black Americans faced essentially same problems as Africans but realized that their existential plight was different. Not same as being colonized. (366.6)
  10. huh?
  11. Culture — whose got it? If colonist is "cultured" then practices that are more like those of the former are glorified. (367.5)
  12. The colonized intellectual. Recognizes he runs risk of getting cut off from his culture. Constant struggle — am I becoming the white colonizer? (367.6)
  13. Struggle of those who are X and Y. Unwilling to choose, they adopt "universal" perspective (367.8)
  14. The colonized intellectual over-identifies with the colonists' culture.
  15. The colonized intellectual feels he must escape from this but looks with dismay at the "native" culture available since it seems to pale in the comparison. Result is "exaggerated sensibility, sensitivity, and susceptibility." DJR: I think he is saying that the colonized intellectual is forced to become a caricature of his own culture, in a sense.
  16. DJR: is next point that this exaggeration ends up pointing to violence for its own sake, "muscle had to replace concept"? (368.7)
  17. Intellectuals on this path overdo everything "native." "Rediscovering one's people…"
  18. Tendency is to identify all the bad traits of the colonist and all the good virtues of one's "people." Scandalizes the colonists and so gets even more popular among colonized. The the colonizers, realizing they are losing the ones they thought they'd co-opted, go crazy and the system gets messy. Everyone who thus "crosses over" stands for a "radical condemnation" of the system of colonialism. (369.9)
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