Black Skins White Masks Summary

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Black Skins White Masks Summary

Black Skins White Masks Summary: Introduction

The 20th-century philosopher Franz Fanon wrote his first book Black Skin White Masks, in 1958. His book argued on cultural consciousness. The book includes human psychology and analyzes the existential being of a black man. Therefore, his long years of experience as a psychologist impacts his vision, ideas, and perspective. In Black Skin White Masks, he expressed his long years of experience of discrimination, exclusion, and unfair socio-cultural imbalance. Franz Fanon, influenced by psychoanalysis, examined the cultural backgrounds of his fellows. He aimed to provide reasonings for cultural consciousness. Specifically, he revealed the existential dilemma of blacks in European society. In the 20th century, Europeans had a cultural heritage that included so many historical events and great artists. In his book Black Skin White Masks, he both analyzed and argued in his statements that eventually concluded to black individuals place in European society. He wanted to change this imbalanced patriarchal society that saw whites as superior. The problem in this statement is the cultural consciousness of colonized cultures alienating themselves.

Body Paragraphs

Franz Fanon revealed European politics effects in education, specifically white politics, forced natives to speak French in schools. Therefore, natives were dragging to alienation for forgetting their own language creole. Black Skins White Masks explains various types of reasons for the existential being of black and white. He suggests that black's ultimate goal is to be white. First of all, he infers that black's biggest desire is to be white because if he becomes white, he can reach proper life standards and conditions. Marxism mostly influenced Franz Fanon's political thoughts because he and his culture already suffered from unfair social classes.

He was intellectual. He addressed the great philosopher's perspectives and ideas in his book. For instance, he addressed Jean-Paul Sartre and Nietzsche. These two philosophers were important sources for arguing the existential analysis of being a man. Through Fanton's eyes, Sartre influenced him to maintain his hope for change. Sartre’s findings in existentialism provide him a better understanding of black's existential dilemma. One can suggest that Nietzsche's impact on him associates with nothingness term in Fanon's personal beliefs. In other words, he understood the unfortunate history of his culture. Society's norms devalued being a native in Europe. This devaluing perception created differences in social class because many natives in France were not treated fairly. Racial problems in society affected Fanon's eagerness to write his first book. He put all of his intellectual accumulation to tell his culture's unfortunate destiny. In his words, being black in society was nothingness because white superiority saw blacks as worthless. Therefore, at the beginning of the book, he focuses on planning a better future.

Franz Fanon both examined his own culture and European culture. In Black Skin White Masks, he admitted that he admired other cultures, such as Russian or German, because they have a cultural inheritance. More specifically, Fanon's culture was losing its cultural inheritance. His observations of society led him to represent civil-activism, feminism, and humanism. For instance, on the first page, he introduced his book as a new humanism representative.

In Black Skin White Masks, Fanon's sentences draw attention to the same problems that were occurring for centuries. He questioned a black man's existential being. His observations on the topic led him to conclude what it meant to be black men in white society. He suggested that black individual desires aimed to reach white men's privilege. For instance, he said that when a black man wants to be with a white girl, he actually wants to be white. In other words, blacks’ secretly admire to be white; this fact affected Fanon's perspective to become an activist for an equal social system. One can infer that in Black Skin White Masks, Fanon drew attention to being black women and men in the European society. More specifically, in the 20th century, natives were an ethnic group with no cultural inheritance. In this sense, black men and women faced serious social problems. His perspective argued that his writings on women and resistance provide the formative kernels of a liberating praxis for women existing under colonial and neocolonial oppression (Sharpley-Whiting, 1997). Therefore, he addressed feminist politics.

The main political discussion in Black Skin White Masks is the colonial system that affects native's cultural inheritance. He observed colonial and post-colonial effects on their existential being. Social norms demanded natives to associate with disrespect and exclusion. Society expected that natives should only speak French perfectly. On the other hand, the social dilemma of being a black individual created serious problems for black individuals. Franz Fanon said that black men have two personalities. In other words, he claimed that a black man behaved differently when he was with another black. Also, he behaved differently when he was with a white individual. In his words, this dilemma created a categorization in behavior patterns.

Franz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks book is eternal because it discusses important problems that matter even in the 21st century. His wealthy intellectual accumulation created a unique book that feeds on different social sciences. He managed to create his own style and characteristics while he was discussing unfair social classes.

One can imply that Fanon has witnessed many wars, and he treated injured soldiers until the day he saw torture victims. He attended wars on behalf of France, but he discovered that he should stand by his own culture and people one day. As a black artist, he needed to bring attention to black culture alienation. Therefore, he included his political stance in his literature. His experiences and beliefs made his works eternal. His stance and efforts were for creating an equal social system that will see both colors as equal. Therefore, his stance is still valid today. More specifically, in the 21st century, the world wants to solve racial problems. Also, society wants to achieve an equal justice system for both colors. Today, blacks are being victims of hate crimes because of their race, and this should change. Franz Fanon was one of the pioneer artists who took a stand against the unfair social system. Therefore, he examined black women and men's existential dilemma.

Black Skins White Masks: Conclusion

To sum up, Franz Fanon was one of the most brilliant artists of the 20th century. His social sciences expertise allowed him to create Black Skin White Masks book that included his observations and examinations of black's existential dilemma. In this direction, he closely examined both human nature and society. He based his ideas on different social sciences such as psychology and philosophy. He was a black intellectual artist who discussed unequal social status in society. He represented his political stance, and he revealed the problems of being black in European society. He addressed racial problems and sufferings in the Black Skin White Masks book. He discussed a problem that continued for hundreds of years. In this sense, he was one of the pioneer black artists and psychiatrists who brought attention to black alienation in European society. Therefore, he found pieces of evidence that supported his critical ideas and claims.

References

Sharpley-Whiting, D. T. (1997, January 1). Denean T. Sharpley-Whiting, Frantz Fanon: Conflicts and Feminisms. PhilPapers. https://philpapers.org/rec/SHAFFC-2.

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Zendaya
Content Lead at Tamara Research. Major in Advertising, loves working.

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