Fanon, Frantz Omar

Fanon, Frantz Omar fräNts ômärˈ fänôNˈ [key], 1925–61, French West Indian psychiatrist, author, revolutionary, and leader of the Algerian National Front, b. Martinique. Educated in France, he went to Algeria (1953) to practice psychiatry. Sympathetic to the Algerian revolution from its inception (1954), Fanon resigned his medical post (1956) to become editor of the Algerian National Front's newspaper. His first book, Black Skin, White Masks (1952, tr. 1967), is a psychoanalytic study of black life and the internalization of racism in a white-dominated world. Considered one of the first books to study the psychology of colonialism, it is an indictment of racism, imperialism, and nationalism. In The Wretched of the Earth (1961, tr. 1963), published just before his death and considered by some to be his most important work, Fanon employed a fiery rhetoric to call for a violent revolution led by the peasants of the Third World, rather than by the proletariat, leading to socialism. The book focuses on international violence and national consciousness, while providing a psychoanalytic investigation into mental disorders associated with colonialism. According to Fanon, a new type of humanity, modern yet proud of its nonwhite heritage and undergirded with an ethic of radical empathy, would emerge from revolutionary, anticolonial struggle. In 2018, an edited collection of unpublished works—comprising approximately half of Fanon's entire output—was published, titled Alienation and Freedom.

See biographies by D. Caute (1970), I. L. Gendzier (1973), D. Macey (2001), and C. J. Lee (2015); studies by J. McCulloch (1983), R. C. Onwuanibe (1983), A. Alessandrini (1999), N. C. Gibson (2003), L. R. Gordon (2015), J. A. Gordon (2015), D. Marriott (2018), and G. Arnall (2020). See also J. D. Le Sueur, Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics during the Decolonization of Algeria (2001), T. Shepard, The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France (2006), and C. Robcis, Disalienation: Politics, Philosophy, and Radical Psychiatry in Postwar France (2021).

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