Colonial racisms in the ‘métropole’
Reading Peau noire, masques blancs in context
in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
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This chapter provides a historical reading of the examples of racism in 'metropolitan' France that Frantz Fanon cites and comments upon. Of earlier Antillean francophone poets, Fanon says 'ce sont des Blancs', as they were too fascinated by the mirage of French assimilationism. The chapter analyses the significance of Peau noire for our understanding of the various cultures of colonial racism. As the 1950s progressed, the 'comparativist' themes would gain wider currency, and many of the developments help to throw more light on Peau noire itself, and on Fanon's subsequent political trajectory. Fanon's text served as a powerful counter-discourse to the reassertion of 'colonial republicanism' in post-war France, where the end of the Vichy regime could be invoked in an attempt to legitimate the more 'benign' paternalism of the French Union.

Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks

New interdisciplinary essays

Editor: Max Silverman
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