The significance of Sartre in Fanon
in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
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Chapter 1 provides an account of Fanon’s critical indebtedness to Sartrean existential phenomenology. It also engages with his critique of negritude. The aim of this chapter is to inscribe Black Orpheus (as well as Anti-Semite and Jew) in the philosophical discourse of Being and Nothingness, two correlative works which elaborate a phenomenology of perception, race and embodied selves. These works were cornerstones for the negritude movement and had an impact on Fanon. While Sartre considers negritude as a source of poetry, Fanon accuses him of damming up its poetic source by abstracting the being-of-the-black. Fanon acknowledges the importance of Sartre’s intervention in Black Orpheus but criticizes it for intellectualizing the experience of the black.

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