The Wretched of the Earth


Franz Fanon was a distinguished Black psychiatrist and anticolonialist from Algeria. He published Wretched of the Earth in 1963.  “The Wrethched of the Earth”, is considered by many to be one of the canonical books on the worldwide black liberation struggles of the 1960’s. He is writing in anger because of the need of independence for his country in this book.  He addresses the role of violence in decolonization and the challenges of political organization and the class collisions and questions of cultural hegemony in the creation and maintenance of a new country’s national consciousness.  His approach to the matter is by no means a settle approach, but instead his attack is revolutionary. One of his main points is that the first will be last and the last will be the first. He also uses many other ideologies that support his beliefs and viewpoints.  This book is very interesting and can be utilized in many different ways.  




  The theme that I would link this book to is the theme of invasion. This book concentrates on the unlawful and unjust treatment given by the invaders, which are the Europeans. Anyone interested in slavery should be interested in this book. The Africans in his country were under the same rule that slaves in America were under, just different soil.

“The Wretched of the Earth” views the colonized world from the perspective of the colonized.  Fanon questions the reader throughout the book.  For instance, he questions whether the colonized world should copy the west or develop a whole new set of values and ideas. 




Frantz Fanon Some people would disagree with the style Fanon choose to write in.  He exalts violence as a necessary pre-condition for the problems his people were facing.  Many people felt he was threatening and too upset. People, who comment such remarks, obviously don't know what it's like to be colonized. He had every right to express himself in the manner in which he did. I agree with some of his ideologies. I feel that in some situations you have to find ways to gain liberation in different approaches, even if it is radical.

Fanon at first was assimilationist thinking colonists and colonized should try and build a future together.  But quickly Fanon’s assimilationist illusions were destroyed by the gaze of the metropolitan racism both in France and in the colonized world.








This site has plenty to offer. You can explore this book as well as other books.

***Fanon Page

This site offers a brief summary of Fanon's life, and some of his Ideology.

To teach Fanon would be complicated in some aspects. The easiest approach is teaching his literature as a celebration of overcoming the oppressors, who were the colonizers. Once the students realize that Fanon's literature is not to be taken for granted, but instead appreciated then the understanding will be less difficult.







     Memmi, Albert. "The Impossible Life of Frantz Fanon. "                                                              

Massachusetts Review (Winter 1973): 9-39


      Gates, Henry Louis. "Critical Fanonism. " Critical Inquiry 17 (1992): 457-470

Colonial & Postcolonial Literary Dialogues

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