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June 22, 2011

Just Read || Black Skin, White Masks

22 June 2011

I've managed to crawl my way through University setwork Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon, which is a work on the psychology of the man of colour.

Black Skin, White Masks is a dissertation of Fanon's psychoanalytical theory of the personality complexes created by colonialism in the colonialist populations. A lot of what Fanon makes sense, if you know the themes and subjects of psychoanalysis.

His major statement is that the white man has created in the black man an inferiority complex that determines all the ways that these two races interact with each other, even down to white people’s relationships with a person of colour of the opposite sex.

I will admit that it was at times a difficult novel to get through and to understand at times, as I found Fanon rambles on and makes use of obscure extended metaphors and images without any real coherence.

But the essence of the novel is important in that it shows that all humans have an effect on each other, where consciously or subconsciously. Though I believe he has oversimplified the issue, as in stating that the black man can only be defined as “not the Other”, there are some really interesting points, and I think that the thesis goes a long way in trying to ascertain the psychology of the coloniser.


Have you read the novel? What did you think?