Black Skin, White Masks

by Frantz Fanon

Paperback, 2008



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Library's review

Black Skin, White Masks is a 1952 book by Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist and intellectual from Martinique. 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 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.… (more)


Grove Press (2008), Edition: Revised, 206 pages


In this study, Fanon uses psychoanalysis and psychological theory to explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that black people experience in a white world. Originally formulated to combat the oppression of black people, Fanon's insights are now being taken up by other oppressed groups - including feminists - and used in their struggle for cultural and political autonomy. Like Marx, Fanon wanted to change the world as well as to describe it. The sustained influence of his writings realizes this ambition.

User reviews

LibraryThing member IsotropicJoseph
I found this for sale on a street corner in New York. It was somebody's old, dogeared copy. It's tough reading, particularly from the perspective of a modern, quite progressive, white guy.
I find the firy hot anger Fanon towards white society within Fanon's, while justified, is painful. Unfortunately, I can't say that it's dated and no longer relevant.
If you've just watched Obama's speech on race and you need some scholarly follow up, I highly recommend this collection of his essays.
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LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
This is an extended essay regarding the current dominant culture of the world, the Western Christian one. Can a black man, being conversant with this culture be truly said to be completely black? This is the beginning of the cultural appropriation debate. Well argued.
LibraryThing member b.masonjudy
Fanon flayed me. His rich and concise prose, arguments, have considerable breadth for such a slim volume. His points about the culpability of all in a society for the atrocities those in power inflict, is moving, damning, and necessary.


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Physical description

240 p.; 5.4 inches


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