Frantz Fanon: Decolonisation through revolution

Newlove, Chris

Publisher:  International Socialism
Date Written:  05/04/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21028

A review of Peter Hudis, Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades (Pluto Press, 2015); Lewis R Gordon, What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham University Press, 2015); and Leo Zeilig, Frantz Fanon: The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution (I B Taurus, 2016). The three books illustrate a renewed interest among activists and within academia in the life and work of Frantz Fanon. The three highlighted works demonstrate that Fanon has many lessons for current movements against racism, imperialism and capitalism.


Excerpt: Steve Biko, Che Guevara and Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party were all inspired by Fanon in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1990s saw what became known as "Critical Fanonism" within academia in which Fanon's revolutionary politics were downplayed, making him a thinker of "difference" and an opponent of a "unified theory of oppression". The titles of two of the recent biographies under review, "Philosopher of the barricades" and "The militant philosopher of third world revolution" are clearly a reaction to this distortion. All three books skilfully mix details of Fanon's life with his central ideas. This review will focus on Fanon's major works on racism and decolonisation and his relationship with Marxism rather than the details of his extraordinary life, which can found elsewhere.
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