Frantz Fanon’s Anti-colonialism and Independence ConceptJune 27, 2021
Fanon was perhaps the most prominent thinker of the 20th century on the psychopathology of decolonization and colonization. His works inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for over forty years.
Fanon was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, then a French colony, now a French territory. He was born into a mixed family of African slaves, Tamil indentured servants, and a white man. The family situation was relatively good for Martiniques, but far from the middle class. They were still able to pay for the Lycée Schoelcher, which only accepted black students.
After France fell to the Nazis in 1940, French naval forces were stopped in Martinique. By having to stop on the island, the French soldiers turned into real racists. Many allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct have risen. The abuse of Martiniques by the French Army was a major influence on Fanon, as it reinforced his feelings of alienation and disgust with the realities of colonial racism. Fanon left the island at the age of eighteen and traveled to Dominica to join the Free French Forces. He was later drafted into the French army and served in France, particularly in the battles of Alsace. He was wounded in Colmar in 1944 and received the Croix de Guerre Medal.
When the Nazis were defeated and Allied forces crossed—with photojournalists—through the Rhine into Germany, Fanon’s regiment was cleared of all non-white soldiers and his fellow black soldiers were sent to Toulon instead.
Fanon returned to Martinique in 1945. His return was short lived. There he participated in the parliamentary campaign of his friend and mentor, Aimé Césaire, who would have the greatest influence on his life. Although Fanon never identified himself as a communist, Césaire, under the guise of a communist, attended the first National Assembly of the 4th Republic as a parliamentary delegate from Martinique. Fanon stayed long enough to receive his baccalaureate and then moved to France, where he would study medicine and psychiatry. He was educated in Lyon, where he would study drama and philosophy in the summer, and sometimes attend Merleau-Ponty’s lectures. After earning a qualification in psychiatry in 1951, he interned in psychiatry under the fundamentalist Catalan François de Tosquelles, who would strengthen Fanon’s thinking by emphasizing the important but often overlooked role of culture in psychopathology. After the internship, Fanon continued his psychiatric practice in France, another year and then (starting from 1953) in Algeria. He was chief physician at the Blida-Joinville Psychiatric Hospital in Algeria, where he remained until his resignation in 1956.
While in France, Fanon wrote his first book, Black Skin, White Masks, an analysis of the impact of colonial subjugation on the human psyche. This book was a personal account of Fanon’s experience of being a black person, a French-educated intellectual in France who was turned away by the French because of his skin colour.
Fanon left France for Algeria, where he was on military duty for a while during the war. He got a job as a psychiatrist at the Blida-Joinville Psychiatric Hospital. It is there that he radicalizes treatment methods. In particular, he started social therapy based on the cultural background of his patients. He also trained nurses and interns. With the start of the Algerian revolution in November 1954, Dr. As a result of his connections with Chaulet, he joined the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale, National Liberation Front).
In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon discussed in depth the effects of the French forces’ persecution of Algerians. The fact that French paratrooper units participated in the torture caused political upheaval in France, where amnesty was granted for ‘events’ to those alleged to have been involved in the torture. That is why General Paul Aussaresses, who openly approved of torturing suspects of terrorism, was not tried for his actions but because he did not show enough remorse.
Fanon has traveled extensively throughout Algeria, particularly in the Kabyle region, to study the cultural/psychological life of Algerians. His lost work, ‘The marabout of Si Slimane’ is an example. These trips were also a means for him to go to the Chrea ski area, which hides undercover activities, especially an FLN base. In the summer of 1956, he wrote his famous ‘Letter of Resignation to the Colonial Minister’ and made up for it with his French assimilationist upbringing and education. He was expelled from Algeria in January 1957, and the ‘slot of rebellion’ at Blida Hospital was disbanded. Fanon left for France and eventually made a secret journey to the City of Tunis. He became a part of the editorial board of “El Mujahid”, which he would write for the rest of his life. He also served as the Provisional Algerian Government’s Ambassador to Ghana and attended conferences in Accra, Conakry, Addis Ababa, Leopoldville (today Kinshasa), Cairo and Tripoli. Most of his short writings from this period were collected posthumously in Toward the African Revolution. In this book, Fanon even as a war strategist