Jul 14 2009

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

This was not a long book, but I took my time reading it because the writing was so eloquent. I have never seen such hatred and fury channeled into such eloquent discourse. There isn’t enough space allowed here for me to get into the problems of post-colonialism, but what impresses me most about this work is the way in which Fanon can see beyond the immediate problem of colonial oppression and into the future of post-colonial independence. He foresaw that the intellectuals and petty bourgeoisie among the native population would become the new ruling elite and would become rife with greed and corruption once independence was obtained. Yet he remained optimistic that those oppressed by colonialism would forge a new way ahead, a way that would ultimately be more progressive than anything Europe or the United States could imagine. Knowing what we know now about post-independence Africa, we may smile on this optimism, but perhaps there is still time for his vision to be fulfilled.

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