African DiasporaFiguresMartinique (France)

Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon was born in 1925 in Fort-de-France, Martinique, to a customs inspector father and a merchant mother, both descendants of former slave families. The six children of the family go to secondary school, Frantz will have Aimé Césaire as a teacher in high school. In 1943, he joined the Free French Forces alongside General de Gaulle.

Back in Martinique, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1946 then, thanks to a scholarship, he went to study medicine in Lyon (France) and specialized in psychiatry. He also took courses in literature and philosophy, acquiring an enormous knowledge in many fields.

In 1953, Frantz Fanon occupied the post of chief physician at the psychiatric hospital of Blida in Algeria. There, he sets up methods which challenge the colonial system and its effects on the psychology of the colonized, in particular through the depersonalization and dehumanization of which they are victims. When war broke out, he chose to fight on the side of the FLN and resigned from his hospital post in 1956. Beyond the Algerian struggle, he supported Pan-Africanism. But he was cut off in his tracks, struck down with leukemia, and died on December 6, 1961 at the age of 36. He left three essential works, Black Skin, White Masks (1952), The Year V of the Algerian Revolution (1959) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).


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