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Black Skin, White Mask- Frantz Fanon

Ethnic Studies 242
by

Carla Weber

on 4 October 2012

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Transcript of Black Skin, White Mask- Frantz Fanon

Black Skin, White Face
Frantz Fanon Zoe Raven, Leah Avila,
Carla Weber Family and Cultural
Identity Comparison of
"Phobogenic" People Sexuality Sexual Excitement and Aggressiveness Jungle Fever Primal Advantage? “A white women who has a Negro lover finds it difficult to return to white men. Or so at least it is believed by white men: “Who knows what ‘they’ can give a women?” Who indeed does know, certainly ‘they’ do not.” (171) Page 230 "I am a Negro, and tons of chains, storms of blows, rivers of expectoration flow down my shoulders. But I do not have the right to allow myself to bog down...I do not have the right to allow myself to be mired in what the past has determined." Consequences of Phobias "Basically, does this fear of rape not itself cry out for rape? Just as there are faces that ask to be slapped, can one not speak of women who ask to be raped?" (156) Page 231-232 "Superiority? Inferiority? Why not the quite simple attempt to touch the other, to feel the other, to explain the other to myself? Was my freedom not given to me then in order to build the world of the You? At the conclusion of this study, I want the world to recognize, with me, the open door of every consciousness. " Phobia Defined The Family and Childhood In "civilized" countries, the structure of a nation and of a family are similar.
"A normal child that has grown up in a normal family will be a normal man" (142).
However, it is opposite for the Black family. "A normal Negro child, having grown up within a normal family, will become abnormal on the slightest contact with the white world" (143).
White children grow up reading that the bad characters in stories are often Blacks or Indians.
Fannon calls for children's songs, magazines, and history texts for Black children. Black People in a White World "As I begin to recognize that the Negro is the symbol of sin, I catch myself hating the Negro. But then I realize I am a Negro. There are two ways out of this conflict. Either I ask others to pay no attention to my skin, or else I want them to be aware of it" (197).
"The individual who climbs up into society- white and civilized- tends to reject his family- black and savage... " (149). Collective Unconscious Uncle Remus Final Questions: Frantz Fanon Black Skin, White Masks Born 1925 in the French colony of Martinique
Volunteered to fight with the Free French in WWII in 1943
Stayed in France to study medicine and psychiatry
Head of psychiatry dept in an Algerian hospital 1953-56; wrote "Black Skin, White Masks"
Appointed as ambassador to Ghana by the rebel Provisional Algerian Government
Diagnosed with leukemia, taken to U.S. for treatment
Died 1961, age 35 Psychology of racism
Intended for French psychiatrists
Main points:
Black women look down on own race, wish to be white
Black men wish to be white, or at least prove themselves equal to white men
Always black, never human
White people see black people as bodies, so they appear mindless, sexual human beings.
We'll be talking about the cultural and family identity, the idea of "phobogenic" people, and sexuality. "Phobia is a neurosis characterized by the anxious fear of an object, or by extension, a situation." (154) Phobogenic People: Jews vs. Blacks "The Jew is feared because of his potential for acquisitiveness...'They' control everything." (157)

"To suffer from a phobia of Negroes is to be afraid of the biological. For the Negro is only biological. The Negroes are animals. They go about naked. And God alone knows." (165) "Projecting his own desires onto the Negro, the white man behaves "as if" the Negro really had them." (165) "The object [of fear], naturally, need not be there, it is enough that somewhere it exist: It is a possibility." (155) Conclusion "Purely and simply the sum of prejudices, myths, collective attitudes of a given group" (188).
It is cultural and therefore acquired.
"In Europe, the Black man is a symbol of evil" (188).
Media helps shape one's view of the world.
The black people can also obtain this collective unconscious. "Now the scapegoat for white society- which is based on myths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement- will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro" (194). Works Cited Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Mask. New York: Grove, 1967. Print.

McKoy, Grainger, Jr. "Uncle Remus." Uncle Remus. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2012. <http://www.uncleremus.com/>.

Poulos, Jennifer. "Frantz Fanon." Frantz Fanon. N.p., 1996. Web. 30 Sept. 2012.

Abagond. "Fanon: Black Skin, White Masks." Abagond. N.p., 16 Aug. 2011. Web. 30 Sept. 2012. Have you felt the effects of what Fanon calls the "collective unconscious" in your own life? Where?

Both Fanon and Baldwin advocate accepting the past and moving forward. Do you find yourself sympathetic with this theory or do you agree more with the competitive aspect of Garvey?

Do Fanon's ideas on sex between whites and blacks still hold true to an extent today? Think of your childhood. Do you remember reading stories where the black people are considered evil? Do you think this has affected you? Why or why not? “What do you
expect,with all the freedom they have on their jungles!” (157) “Every intellectual gain requires a loss in sexual potential. The civilized white man retains an irrational longing for unusual eras of sexual license, of orgiastic scenes, of unpunished rapes, of unrepressed incest. . . . Projecting his own desires onto the Negro, the white man behaves ‘as if’ the Negro really had them. . . . [T]he Negro is fixated at the genital; or at any rate he has been fixated there.”(165) “...Mannoni said further; ‘ in his urge to identify the anthropoid apes, Caliban, the Negroes, even the Jews with the mythological figures of the satyrs, man reveals that there are sensitive spots in the human soul at a level where thought becomes confused and where sexual excitement is strangely linked with violence and aggressiveness” (166) "Granted that unconscious tendencies toward incest exist why should these tendencies emerge more particularly with respect to the Negro? In what way, taken as an absolute, does a black son-in-law differ from a white son-in-law? Why not, for instance, conclude that the father revolts because in his opinion the Negro will introduce his daughter into a sexual universe for which the father does not have the key, the weapons, or the attributes?” (165) “The white man is convinced that the Negro is a beast; if it is not the length of his penis, then it is the sexual potency that impresses him. Face to face with this man who is “different from himself,” he needs to defend himself. In other words, to personify The Other. The Other will become a mainstay of his preoccupations and his desires.” (170)


“The Negro symbolizes the biological. First of all, he enters puberty at the age of nine and is a father at the age of ten; he is hot blooded and his blood is strong; he is rough.” (167) “..represents the sexual instinct (in its raw state). The Negro is the incarnation of a genital potency beyond all moralities and prohibitions” (177). "Is the lynching of the Negro not a sexual revenge? We know how much of sexuality there is in all cruelties, tortures, beatings”(159) Family Relationships “... The white man behaves toward the Negro as an older brother reacts to the birth of a younger.”(157)
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