Fanon's "Fact of Blackness"

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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.


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. ...
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