Fanon, Frantz Omar

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Frantz Omar Fanon (fräNts ômär´ fänôN´), 1925–61, French West Indian psychiatrist, author, revolutionary, and leader of the Algerian National Front, b. Martinique. Educated in France, he went to Algeria (1953) to practice psychiatry. Sympathetic to the Algerian revolution from its inception (1954), Fanon resigned his medical post (1956) to become editor of the Algerian National Front's newspaper. His first book, Black Skin, White Masks (1952, tr. 1967), is a psychoanalytic study of black life and the internalization of racism in a white-dominated world. In The Wretched of the Earth (1961, tr. 1963), widely considered his most important work, Fanon employed a fiery rhetoric to call for an anticolonial revolution led by the peasants of the Third World, rather than by the proletariat. According to Fanon, a new type of humanity, modern yet proud of its nonwhite heritage, would emerge from this violent struggle.

See biographies by D. Caute (1970), I. L. Gendzier (1973), and D. Macey (2001); studies by J. McCulloch (1983) and R. C. Onwuanibe (1983).