Frantz Fanon

(1925–1961) Third World spokesperson

Frantz Fanon, born of the descendants of African slaves, was raised on the French Caribbean island of Martinique; he was French-educated and became a practicing psychiatrist as well as an influential writer and spokesperson for Third World revolutions during the 1950s–1960s. Fanon influenced an entire generation of revolutionary activists in Africa and in the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Influenced by Aimé Césaire and the ideas of Negritude, Fanon championed the cause of black liberation movements and, in his books and essays, explored the interrelationship of racism and colonialism.

Fanon worked with the French resistance against the Nazis in World War II and went to Algeria as doctor at a hospital at Blida in the early 1950s. After the Algerian revolution broke out in 1954, Fanon quit to join the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and became a leading spokesperson for the cause of Algerian independence from the French. His books, Black Skin, White
Masks (1952) and Wretched of the Earth, published posthumously in 1961, became “handbooks of black revolution.” Fanon argued that violence was an integral part of the struggles for Third World independence because imperial colonial powers would never willingly cede their control over people of color. Fanon died of leukemia in Washington, D.C., in 1961 and was returned to be buried on Algerian soil.

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