Looking Beyond "Black Skin, White Masks"

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Looking Beyond “Black Skin, White Masks”

In recent years the world’s toleration for different cultures and races has increased, however in light of this, the issue of black and white has not faded. There is still a large division between both races due to the sentimental and resentful anguish that the past has brought. I recently read the essay “Black Skin, White Masks” by Franz Fanon, in which the author discusses psychological and sociological issues surrounding the black race. I feel like the authors underlying message throughout the story is the role of the black man in white culture, and how in today’s society the past is used to determine the future. In this essay, I will explore the idea that the past has affected the relationship between both races and how moving on and looking at the future will create “ideal conditions of existence” (764). Throughout his piece, Fanon is persistent on the idea of moving on from the past and looking towards the future. This is an idea that is relatable regardless of skin colour. Fanon says, “In no way should I derive my basic purpose from the past of the peoples of colour. … I will not make myself a man of past. I do not want to exalt the past at the expense of my present and of my future” (761). In regards to the black man, their history of slavery and mistreatment has led to a resent not easily eased by an apology. Many still live in the past, holding grudges against those who offended them so many years before. I consider this a rather unpleasant way to live; to have resent held in one’s heart for so many years takes a toll on how they carry themselves and how that person treats others. Perhaps Fanon’s ideology of moving forward is an accurate one, and perhaps it is the key to erasing the line between the black race and the white race. “Black Skin, White Masks” also explores the role of the black man in white culture. The title itself is an indication of how Fanon feels about the role; how black people wear white...
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