Frantz Fanon unveiled


“As a child in the 1960s, my mother would routinely pass a secondary school on her way home in downtown Algiers named Lycée Frantz Fanon. To her, the name was quite peculiar, since all the other schools had newly Arabic names, alluding to different figures within the independence movement and Algerian history more broadly. She was perplexed as to why this school kept this seemingly white French name, only to learn much later in life—from her son, a particularly angsty postcolonial teen—that it was named for a black man from the Caribbean and that he had made contributions to Algeria’s independence movement. This story differs quite radically from today’s nostalgic renderings of Algerian independence from budding, self-proclaimed revolutionaries—both in the academy and activist circles in the West—that place Fanon and his works at the center of the struggle. The two have become so inseparable that I feel the need to contextualize Fanon’s work as well as his role as a political operative within the Front de Libération Nationale, Algeria’s nationalist liberation front and subsequent ruling political party. … As Fanon became more entrenched with the FLN, though, he began to take the role of ideologue and ambassador—becoming an editor and routine contributor to El Moudjahid, the FLN’s newspaper, as well as publishing his own works, most famously The Wretched of the Earth and A Dying Colonialism. Fanon’s role as a spokesman for the FLN put him in quite a unique position, not seen in most anti-colonial movements. He was not an Algerian national, but that did not stop him from inhabiting a rather liminal space in the movement and Algeria as a whole. While he was known as Frantz Fanon on the world stage, to his FLN comrades his name was Ibrahim. In fact, he went as far as exclusively identifying as Algerian, with several accounts noting his frustration when questioned about the validity of this newfound identity. …”
Africa Is a Country
The Islamic Veil in Fanon’s post-colonial psychoanalysis: A changing symbol

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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