Find this book:. For that reason, this new edition from Pluto Press is definitely welcome. It remains a fundamental part of the contemporary constellation of intellectual and activist struggles and discourses working to denounce and contest the effects of racism on the lives and minds of black people and people of colour. At the time, I had written a response to black Brazilian feminist academics and activists who have extensively analysed the relationship between systemic racism and the solitude of black women in our country. In a blog post, I reflected about how I consciously and unconsciously reproduced racist patterns of behaviour as I grew into adulthood. You should.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Charles Lam Markmann Translator. A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world.
Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in , the book remains a vital force today. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by Grove first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Black Skin, White Masks , please sign up. How many editions the book, "Black Skin, White Masks," have undergone? Any particular changes to the new editions, if any? Marion I don't know about editions but there's currently only 1 translation from french which apparently is not very good to the point where it changes some …more I don't know about editions but there's currently only 1 translation from french which apparently is not very good to the point where it changes some of Fanon's concepts.
See 2 questions about Black Skin, White Masks…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Black Skin, White Masks. Feb 29, Sean Barrs rated it liked it Shelves: 3-star-reads , lit-crit , postcolonial , non-fiction. Black Skins White Masks is a scary book. Fanon argues that langu Black Skins White Masks is a scary book. Fanon argues that language is the key and it had a profound effect to the human psyche.
This is achieved through a similar education and an acceptance of white culture. Later in the book, Fanon suggests that these blacks who are trying to be whiter should stop in their endeavours. They should remember their heritage and recognise that differences will always exist between two cultures.
He recognised that the black man, although embracing white culture, is still treated as inferior; therefore, there is little point in doing so because a patronising relationship will only be achieved. This is a stark observation, true, but also very idealistic. The racism would be even worse. Any more than the white man. Both must turn their back on the inhuman voices which were those of their respective ancestors in order that authentic communication be possible.
Before he can adopt a positive voice, freedom require an effort at disalienation. At the beginning of his life a man is always clotted, he is drowned in contingency. The tragedy of man is that he was once a child. The sad thing is that a book like this actually had to be written.
It bears a strong message, and the style is persuasive and emotionally engaging: the anger and injustice come bursting through the narration. Stylistically speaking, this book is remarkable.
However, Fanon was a product of his time. He is misogynistic and incredibly homophobic. The females barely have a voice and the homosexuals are linked with women as an indirect insult. To be gay is to be no less a man. Womanhood has nothing to do with it. It is too soon…or too late. View 1 comment. There is plenty to critique in this book, and I think the urge to critique is heightened by the author's ubiquity. For one, Fanon is deeply misogynist and homophobic.
He writes that it is in refusing to acknowledge the black man that the white man strips him of his subjectivity, and yet he writes nary a word about the black woman. The greatest irony of the book is that the chapter entitled "The Woman of Color and the White Man" is really a chapter about how black men perceive black women, and it There is plenty to critique in this book, and I think the urge to critique is heightened by the author's ubiquity.
The greatest irony of the book is that the chapter entitled "The Woman of Color and the White Man" is really a chapter about how black men perceive black women, and its central point is this: Black women bear the children of white men because they believe that by whitening their race they shall earn prestige, and in doing so black women abandon the role they should be playing assuring black men of their virility.
No wonder later writers like bell hooks would lash out against Fanon. His remarks on white women and homosexual men are equally subjugating: They both want black men to rape them. For another, Fanon is a trained psychiatrist, and as chapter titles like "The Black Man and Psychopathology" indicate, he is invested in using the psychoanalysic practices of people like the Freuds, Jung, and Lacan to analyze the relation between colonizing and colonized peoples.
Perhaps it's just that psychoanalysis has run its course in cultural theory -- or perhaps that it's just become so banal, which amounts to roughly the same thing -- but I found the long passages on dream interpretations rather dull and not terribly persuasive. Appiah concedes this point in his introduction to the Grove edition.
These criticisms aside, however, what I think remains most valuable in Black Skin, White Masks is the fact that at heart it's a small, personal book -- a meditation on the author's own experiences as a black male intellectual -- that can't quite live up to the reputation it has earned as the record of an entire generation.
Despite the "vintage" gender politics and analytic practices, Fanon's book conveys a palpable sense of subjective hurt, and also a surprisingly conciliatory desire to forge new, mutually beneficial relationships with white people. Of course, the second best reason to read the book remains its influence; after all, it's hard to read Glissant, Silverman, Hartman, or many others, without first making a pit-stop here.
Recommended for literary and cultural historians. View all 7 comments. Mar 12, BlackOxford rated it it was amazing Shelves: caribbean , french-language , biography-biographical.
What starts as an analysis of the effects of racism on its victims, blossoms into a poetic expression of being black, including the psychological progression through the various stages of escape from the numerous traps of self-image created by a racist society. What holds the book together is a crucial recognition, namely that the source of racism and its operational mechanism is language. Fanon points out the generality of this phenomenon. Control of language gives the racist power over reason itself.
This has the effect of alienating its victims in a particularly subtle but profoundly cruel way. The victim may be made to feel inferior physically, but he still has his mind. All this whiteness burns me to a cinder. At the present time we need a national union. No more internal strife! A united front against the foreigners [and turning to me] whoever they may be. They allow the racist to blame the victim for the racist abuse they suffer.
The white man is desperately trying to achieve the rank of man. View all 12 comments. Apr 24, Adira rated it really liked it Shelves: books-about-africa , books-about-books , violent-reads , thought-provoking , anticipation , books-about-characters-with-health , books-about-europe , massive-reads , books-read-in , own-a-copy.
I appreciate this book and the way it turned the mirror back on me and made me question certain practices I have in the context of my "Blackness" and how I've been conditioned to assimilate to certain European cultural practices that I can never truly be a part of by de facto. My only negative comment is that I wish Fanon would have devoted real time to looking at the I appreciate this book and the way it turned the mirror back on me and made me question certain practices I have in the context of my "Blackness" and how I've been conditioned to assimilate to certain European cultural practices that I can never truly be a part of by de facto.
My only negative comment is that I wish Fanon would have devoted real time to looking at the woman of color and her personal struggles with Whites, but alas, he is a man of color so he may not have been able to truly do it any better justice than he did in this book. Yet, I do find it increasingly frustrating that so many philosophers of color turn a blind eye to problems that women of color have in regards to the psychological pains that have been left over from Slavery, Colonization, and Imperial reign across the Diaspora, but I digress.
This book is a must-read for any young person of colour who has found himself existentially agitated by, what one might call, his "condition". I don't mean that in a negative, medical sense; I mean it as in any condition, like the human condition. It's simply false to imply that it means nothing to be coloured in a post-colonial world. We can agree that it shouldn't mean anything, but it does, and so we have to grapple with that, and Frantz Fanon is a good way in.
It's written elegantly and it's This book is a must-read for any young person of colour who has found himself existentially agitated by, what one might call, his "condition".
Black Skin, White Masks. Frantz Fanon. Few modern voices have had as profound an impact on the black identity and critical race theory as Frantz Fanon, and Black Skin, White Masks represents some of his most important work. Fanon's masterwork is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in , the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.
Black Skin, White Masks
Born on the island of Martinique under French colonial rule, Frantz Omar Fanon — was one of the most important writers in black Atlantic theory in an age of anti-colonial liberation struggle. His work drew on a wide array of poetry, psychology, philosophy, and political theory, and its influence across the global South has been wide, deep, and enduring. Fanon engaged the fundamental issues of his day: language, affect, sexuality, gender, race and racism, religion, social formation, time, and many others. His impact was immediate upon arrival in Algeria, where in he was appointed to a position in psychiatry at Bilda-Joinville Hospital.
Book Review: Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
The book is written in the style of auto-theory,  which Fanon shares his own experiences in addition to presenting a historical critique of the effects of racism and dehumanization, inherent in situations of colonial domination, on the human psyche. The violent overtones in Fanon can be broken down into two categories: The violence of the colonizer through annihilation of body, psyche, culture, along with the demarcation of space. And secondly the violence of the colonized as an attempt to retrieve dignity, sense of self, and history through anti-colonial struggle. Black Skin, White Masks applies a historical critique on the complex ways in which identity, particularly Blackness, is constructed and produced.