Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography
Frantz Fanon (1925–1961) (commons.wikimedia.org)
Born in Martinique and profoundly influenced by the work of his teacher Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon was a soldier, a psychiatrist, an author, and an outspoken and original theorist of decolonization. Fanon fought in the Free French Army during World War II and he was a member of the Algerian Liberation Front while serving as head of the psychiatric ward of an Algerian hospital during the Algerian War. Fanon was later exiled to Tunisia. Although he died of leukemia at the age of 36, Frantz Fanon's legacy lives on through his widely read and influential books on the psychological conditions of colonialism and racism. DCALAB author Carolyn Vellenga Berman writes, "The Wretched of the Earth had an enormous impact on anti-imperialist and antiracist struggles worldwide, becoming an inspirational text for the Black Power movement in the 1960s and 1970s. In subsequent decades, the exploration of identity, subjectivity, and the effects of culture in Black Skin, White Masks also became a crucial point of reference for postcolonial theory. . . . Thoughtful, prescient, and often paradoxical, Fanon's written works anticipated many historical twists and turns—not only in decolonization, but also in theories of creolization and 'stereotype threat' as well as critiques of nationalism and economic globalization."