Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)
Edition used: Grove
See also the 2015 lecture on this text by Christina Hendricks
See also Freud, Dora and “Femininity”.
- Discuss the rhetorical strategies used by Fanon in making his case. For example, is he personal, impersonal, funny, witty, emotional, or clinical? How do these rhetorical strategies help and/or hinder his argument?
- “When blacks make contact with the white world a certain sensitizing action takes place. If the psychic structure is fragile, we observe a collapse of the ego. The black man stops behaving as an actional person. His actions are destined for ‘the Other’ (in the guise of the white man), since only ‘the Other’ can enhance his status and give him self-esteem at the ethical level.” (Black Skin, White Masks 132). Discuss what Fanon means by “the Other.”
- Consider the concluding remarks of Black Skin, White Masks in the light of the rest of the book. Are Fanon’s hopes warranted in the light of what he has argued hitherto?
- With reference to Black Skin, White Masks, offer a “Fanonian” reading of either Césaire’s The Tragedy of King Christophe or Walcott’s Henri Christophe, or Carpentier’s The Kingdom of this World.