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Frantz Fanon’s Call to Anti-Colonial Violence

(Released October 2011 2011)

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  by Erin McCoy  


Key Citations







Frantz Fanon’s argument that violence is sometimes the only means for a colonized people to free itself from a colonizer is in many ways irrefutable. Unimaginable pain, genocide and dehumanizing acts have been inflicted upon native peoples throughout the earth and throughout history by dominating forces who do not afford natives even the basic humanity that could appeal to colonizers’ better selves.

Yet it is also essential to remember that Fanon’s post-colonial solution is “an ethical and political project” in which violence is only a necessary means to a better life, not a universally justifiable act for the foreseeable future (Bhabha xvi). It is in the context of Fanon’s discussion of violence that we can ask where the line is really drawn, where pacifism meets its limits, and when violence has gone too far. This is why Fanon’s work remains relevant, and why, in a world where racism is still very much alive and systems of domination and oppression will always have their victims, Fanon’s work is still a revelation.

© 2011, ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved.

List of Visuals

  1. Bhabha, Homi K. “Foreward: Framing Fanon.” The Wretched of the Earth.By Frantz Fanon. New York, New York: Grove Press, 2004. vii-xli. Print.

  2. Césaire, Aimé. Discourse on Colonialism. New York, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000. Print..

  3. Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. New York, New York: Grove Press, 1967. Print.

  4. Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York, New York: Grove Press, 2004. Print.

  5. Frazer, Elizabeth, and Kimberly Hutchings. “On Politics and Violence: Arendt Contra Fanon.” Contemporary Political Theory. 7.1 (2008): 90-108. Print.

  6. Martin, Guy. “Revisiting Fanon’s Life, Times and Thought.” African Studies Review. 47.3 (2004): 165-171. Print.

  7. Poulos, Jennifer. “Frantz Fanon.” Postcolonial Studies at Emory. Emory University, Spring 1996. Web. 10 Sept. 2011.

  8. Reyes, Alvaro Andrés (2009). Can’t go home again: Sovereign entanglements and the Black Radical tradition in the twentieth century. Diss. Duke University, 2009. Ann Arbor MI: ProQuest, 2010. Print.

  9. Sanders-Phillips, Kathy. “Racial discrimination: A continuum of violence exposure for children of color.” Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review. 12.2 (2009): 174-195. Print.

  10. Sartre, Jean-Paul. “Preface.” The Wretched of the Earth. By Frantz Fanon. New York, New York: Grove Press, 2004. Print.

  11. Sekyi-Otu, Ato. Fanon’s Dialectic of Experience. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1996. Print.

  12. Zulfiqar, Adnan Ahmad. Jihad of the wretched: Examining Islamic militancy through the thought of Frantz Fanon. Diss. Georgetown University, 2009. Ann Arbor MI: ProQuest, 2010. Print.