Black Skin, White Masks  

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"I have neither the right nor the duty to claim reparation for the domestication of my ancestors. There is no Negro mission; there is no white burden."--Black Skin, White Masks (1952) by Frantz Fanon

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Black Skin, White Masks (1952) is a book by Frantz Fanon originally published in French as Peau noire, masques blancs.

In this study, Fanon uses psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical theory to explain the feelings of dependency and inadequacy that Black people experience in a White world. He speaks of the divided self-perception of the Black Subject who has lost his native cultural originality and embraced the culture of the mother country. As a result of the inferiority complex engendered in the mind of the Black Subject, he will try to appropriate and imitate the cultural code of the colonizer. The behaviour, Fanon argues, is even more evident in upwardly mobile and educated Black people who can afford to acquire the trappings of White culture. Originally formulated to combat the oppression of black people, Fanon's insights are still influential today, being utilized by various groups such as the Palestinians, the Tamils, African Americans and others, and used in their struggle for cultural and political autonomy. Fanon presents both historical interpretation and underlying social indictment.

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