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Fanon's Fact of Blackness - Essay Example

The black man has been given two frames of reference within which he has placed himself, these are: his metaphysics and his customs. The black man does not know the moment that his inferiority appears, it is part of him. The black man has an overbearing burden of being always conscious of his body. This reaction is almost automatic as noted in the text. Several laboratories have for years tried to produce a serum for “degenerification”; “with all the earnestness in the world, laboratories have sterilized their test tubes, checked their scales, and embarked on researches that might make it possible for the miserable Negro to whiten himself and thus to throw off the burden of that corporel malediction” (Fanon 111). When he passes and hears “Look, a Negro!” he is a bit disturbed but only manages a forced smile to hide his humiliation. He hears “Look, a Negro!” again; he becomes angry but does not show it. When he hears it again, he no longer can hide his indignation and all his efforts to laugh himself to tears are fruitless since he cannot do so. His anger wells up inside him more (Fanon 112). The black man can not continue laughing because he has learnt from legends, stories, history and historicity that, this is the reality. In the train, no one wants to sit near him. They sit two or three spaces away from him. When he moves towards the other person, the other moves away and “disappears.” The white man feels “nausea” when he is in the proximity of the black man. Since the black man feels responsibility for his body, race and ancestors, he subjects himself to an objective examination, this is when he discovers his “blackness” and ethnic characteristic; he is weighed down by what he discovered and among them are cannibalism, fetichism, intellectual deficiency and above all; “Sho good eatin’” (Fanon 112). Having been completely “dislocated” and unable to cope with the white man, he forces himself to move away from his own presence and turns himself into an object. Having rejected his conscience and emotions from being seered with a hot rod, he accepts his fate as it comes since he wants to be a man and nothing else. This helps him to be at peace with himself by accepting himself for who he is; “I was the grandson of slaves in exactly the same way in which president Lebrun was the grandson of tax-paying, hard-working peasants. In the main, the panic soon vanished” (Fanon 113). Everyone pretends to be friendly while pointing out the fact that they are not racist, nor do they approve of color segregation. The black man has noticed with great discomfort that they always mention his color when they say that they shall not treat him differently because of his color, or that it is not because of his color that the black man is less intelligent than the white folks! When they find fault in the black man, they always try to hide behind the phrase “it is not because you are black.” In reality, it is the only reason. It is not surprising that the black man is utterly misunderstood because when he shivers with cold, the white boy thinks that the black man is “quivering with rage” (114). In this racist society, the black man experiences his being through others. Despite his efforts to forget and forgive the hostility of the white man, and to live in peace and harmony with the other, his “message” is flung back to him (115). He then decides to fight back with ...Show more


Fanon’s “Fact of Blackness” Franz Fanon was probably the seminal theoretician of post-colonial politics, culture and identity. His book Black Skins, White Masks has been read widely and has been a motivator to liberation movements world-wide. The “Fact of Blackness” describes the consciousness of black subject in the presence of white power…
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Fanons Fact of Blackness essay example
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