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Franz Fanon’s book “Black Skin White Mask” is a book written during the colonization period. Franz fanon uses this book to reveal the effects of colonialism on the colonized. Franz Fanon is a native of the French Caribbean Island of Martinique. He was born, in 1925. Until his death, in 1961, Fanon studied Psychiatry and Medicine in France, although, he worked in Algeria for three years. He wrote the book “Black Skin White Masks” in 1952, and it was an indication of what he had witnessed as the struggle for independence. Fanon approaches his study through the analysis of both the black and white races, and concludes that black men ape the white race in many things, which is as a result of the black men wanting to prove their equality. The author utilizes political, sociocultural, and psychological approach in dealing with the matter concerning the white and black race. Franz Fanon’s arguments in his book reveal some truth because they are backed with evidence from some writers who share the same thought. However, there is some disagreement where some writers indicate that the black race was totally against the ways of the white race, and it is one reason that they rebelled against colonization. Franz Fanon also uses psychology to convey his arguments, and such is depicted from him addressing the issue of “The Negro and psychopathology” (Silverman, 2005).
This paper explicates the author’s perspective of what the black men campaign, in their quest to be freed from colonialism.
Having lived during the era that the European nations scrambled and partitioned colonies in Africa, Fanon indicates that this resulted to a struggle between black and white races. The interaction between the two races resulted to a struggle within the black race, which is easily understood through psychological explanation. For instance, the author provides the definition of a black man as a black man, as he does not want to arouse the resentment of the White man. He proceeds by indicating that the black man is black because of the dark world that he is rooted in, and points out that there is also an area of non-being within the black man. This reveals how much the black race was considered at the time; thus, a reason why the white race set out to colonize the Africans. This is a point seconded by history, which indicates that the black race and continent had many opportunities that they did not explore; thus, one of the reasons why the European nations sought to scramble and partition the region. History depicts that the colonization of the black race was made easier by their inexperience, and culture shock. That is why Fanon points out in his book that a child raised in the black race, and meets the white race will want to change in terms of avoiding doing things the black way, and start embracing the white race (Hogan, 2000).
Fanon also indicates power struggles between the white and black race and contends that each race deems themselves superior to the other. He points this out through a line in his text where he notes that it forms a correlation between the black and white races. This is explained in terms of metaphysics whereby, as much as the white race considers itself superior to the black race, the black race strives to prove their value of intellect, and wealthy of thought, which is an indicator of the black race cherishing to be white. In his book published in 2000, Patrick Colm Hogan also asserts the point brought out by Fanon concerning indigenous people. The book “Colonialism and Cultural identity” reveals how the black race suffers from cultural identity. In the book, Patrick identifies how the black race slowly wanted to solidify their culture in the presence of the white race. However, their efforts were countered by the fact that they embraced some cultures of the white race into their culture, which is a deviation from what they were fighting. Arguably, the black race adoption of some of the black race cultures reveals how badly they wanted to become white in terms of their practices (Hogan, 2000).
Fanon also points language, as been one of the effects of colonialism. Fanon takes a cultural perspective on this matter in analyzing the black man’s interaction with the white man. For instance, he notes that the black race taught themselves the white men’s language in order to identify with their culture. In addition, this is indicated as having attained a power position, and it can be translated as to what gave the black race a power to fight for their liberation. This was the white man’s undoing, as they enable the black race to be able to communicate with them efficiently. Jyoti Puri amplifies this matter in her book “Encountering Nationalism” where she claims that it was because of acculturation that enabled many African states to start operating in the same manner as the white states. In addition, she asserts that the language spoken by the white race emancipate the black race as they could communicate with one another and people of other races. Fanon views language as one of the changes brought about by colonialism, and it facilitated colonization because, without the knowledge of one language, the white and black race could not communicate (Puri, 2004).
A Psychopathological analysis of the two races is also presented by Fanon who argues that the abnormality that results when a child of the black race encounters the white race is because of the consideration of the white culture as superior. He also indicates that is why the black race strives to be considered like the white race, as the black race views the white race as the light. Some political perspective also depicts in Fanon’s book. Fanon considers the white race as being inhumane, by the way, he reveals their desires. This proves that they used political force to fight the black race, while at the same time using power uncontrollably through actions such as rape and unrepressed incest. The book “Race and Racialization” by Tania Das Gupta asserts this point as it indicates how the white race has dominated the black race for quite a while. The book also covers the issue of race through observing several topics such as slavery, cultural genocide, and conquest and colonization (Gupta, 2007).
“Black Skin White Masks” is a book written for historical purposes. The book tends to cover issues concerned with colonialism, race, racial discrimination, black race, and black’s social conditions during the colonial era. However, the book seems to deviate a little from its genre since it incorporates some psychological analysis in its theme. Despite that, the book contains some information for all people, and that includes both the white and black race. The context of the book is during the colonialism era when the white dominance on the black race was evident. The context of the book is also revealed through the conditions of the black race, which is arguably deplorable (Gupta, 2007).
In conclusion, Franz Fanon wrote the book “Black Skin White Masks” in 1953, after observing the struggles that the black race was undergoing under the white minority rule. Several books support the arguments of Franz Fanon, and these include “Encountering Nationalism” by Jyoti Puri, “Race and Racialization” by Gupta Tania, and “Colonialism and Cultural Identity” by Patrick Colm. The author utilizes several perspectives to bring his points out, and these include sociocultural and political perspectives. Political perspective depict where the author reveals the greed by the white race. Their insatiable desire for sex leads them to use political power for committing unpunished crimes such as rape and plunder. The sociocultural perspective depicts where the author reveals the differences between the white and the black race, and the desire for the black race to appear like the white race. Notably, colonialism had its merits and demerits on both the white and the black race. The merits include the fact that the black race learned the art of language, and some skills from the white race, while the white race benefitted in terms of material gain. The demerits are that it eroded the black race culture, as many people of the black race were quick to embrace the ways of the white men. On the side of the white race, the fact that they enabled the black race to learn many things from them such as language resulted to them losing their colonies, as the black race became emancipated psychologically, and fought for their freedom. Despite achieving independence, the black race suffered a serious blow under the white race. This is indicated, by the way, the white men treated the black race, and they viewed them as a form of darkness, which needs to be emancipated through following their ways. The author uses his genre well in bringing out facts in the book. However, some deviations from the book genre are evident as he uses psychological analysis of events.