Fanon Black Skin, White Masks

Today, we’re reading a selection from Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon. As you read, please consider the following questions:

  • In the second paragraph of his book, Fanon describes code switching: “A black man behaves differently with a white man than he does with another black man” (1).  Why is code switching a common practice? What historical factors led to this? 
  • Fanon claims that culturally, many believe that “the more the black Antillean assimilates the French language, the whiter he gets – i.e., the closer he comes to becoming a true human being” (2).  What does this say about the privilege of certain Englishes? What are the consequences for rhetoric? 
  • What is a creole language? How is it different from an accent or dialect? Why is this important to understanding colonization? 
  • What can we learn from Fanon’s example of the priest on pages 14-16? 

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