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What was Frantz Fanon's thesis in "The Wretched of the Earth?"

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punctual | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM via web

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What was Frantz Fanon's thesis in "The Wretched of the Earth?"

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM (Answer #1)

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Fanon's Wretched of the Earth is fairly transparently a call to action for exploited colonial peoples around the world, but specifically in Africa. He has two broad goals in the book, which he wrote while dying of leukemia in 1961. The first is to illustrate the ways in which colonial societies have been exploited by their colonizers, and the second is to show how colonial peoples might overthrow not just the colonizers themselves, but the ideas and structures that supported their rule. He pushes for the preservation of indigenous institutions, warns of the rise of bourgeois governments in newly independent former colonies, and generally calls for intellectuals in Africa and elsewhere to assert their political and cultural autonomy, even if this assertion led to violence. Violence, he thought, was perhaps an unavoidable by-product of decolonization given that colonization itself was inherently violent. Simply stated, Fanon's book was a call for immediate, unconditional decolonization.

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