Frantz Fanon’s explosive Black Skin, White Masks is a merciless exposé of the psychological damage done by colonial rule across the world. Using Fanon’s incisive analytical abilities to expose the consequences of colonialism on the psyches of colonized peoples, it is both a crucial text in post-colonial theory, and a lesson in the power of analytical skills to reveal the realities that hide beneath the surface of things. Fanon was himself part of a colonized nation – Martinique – and grew up with the values and beliefs of French culture imposed upon him, while remaining relegated to an inferior status in society. Qualifying as a psychiatrist in France before working in Algeria (a French colony subject to brutal repression), his own experiences granted him a sharp insight into the psychological problems associated with colonial rule. Like any good analytical thinker, Fanon’s particular skill was in breaking things down and joining dots. His analysis of colonial rule exposed its implicit assumptions – and how they were replicated in colonised populations – allowing Fanon to unpick the hidden reasons behind his own conflicted psychological make up, and those of his patients. Unflinchingly clear-sighted in doing so, Black Skin White Masks remains a shocking read today.
Ways in to the text Who was Fanon? What does Black Skin, White Masks say? Why does Black Skin, White Masks matter? Section 1: Influences Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context Module 2: Academic Context Module 3: The Problem Module 4: The Author's Contribution Section 2: Ideas Module 5: Main Ideas Module 6: Secondary Ideas Module 7: Achievement Module 8: Place in the Author's Work Section 3: Impact Module 9: The First Responses Module 10: The Evolving Debate Module 11: Impact and Influence Today Module 12: Where Next? Glossary of Terms People Mentioned in the Text Works Cited
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