White Skin, Black Mask

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Review of Black Skin, White Masks

Frantz Fanon's astounding debut novel, Black Skin, White Masks

(1952), originally titled An Essay For The Disalienation Of Blacks, defined

colonialism and its effect on the black man and took him further into the

region of the human mind. After taking a position at a psychiatric hospital in

Algeria, he became involved in its war, eventually deserting his cranial post

to become a full-time militant in the Algerian National Liberation Front, and

stemming from this period he penned his infamous manifesto, The Wretched

Of The Earth. A failed assassination attempt years later confirmed his

potency. This complex documentary also reveals the hypocrisies and

inconsistencies lurking within Fanon, the most surprising of all, when he

married a white woman. Part reconstruction, part archive, Black Skin, White

Masks features rare footage of the man himself and experts attest to his

brilliance including Professor Stuart Hall, Francoise Verges, psychoanalyst

Alice Cherki, psychiatrist Jacques Azoulay (who worked and studied with

Fanon), Fanon's brother Joby, Mme Felix Fanon, and his sister-in-law and

niece and finally cultural critic Homi K Bhabha offers valuable insight into

Fanon's relevance today. Isaac Julien's absorbing ode to Frantz Fanon is a fitting tribute and in breathtaking homage and style he offers the truth, the

poetry, the bitterness of history and a glowing epiphany to the man himself.

Black Skin, White Masks is a provocative walk through a land filled with

colour, human need and exotic diversity that leaves no stone unturned. Black

Skin, White Masks was an eye opener for me. It helped me realize how

African Americans were treated in the our society for many years. I now

realize why the older generation of African Americans hate when the

younger generation use the "nigger/nigga." It could bring back memories of

racism that no one...
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