What is the place of language in the formation of cultural identity? How is language crucial to cultural identity? Reference one or more of these writings: Frantz Fanon, on color prejudice as...

What is the place of language in the formation of cultural identity?

How is language crucial to cultural identity?

Reference one or more of these writings:

Frantz Fanon, on color prejudice as written about in Black Skin, White Masks.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind.

Gabrielle Garcia Marquez: Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

V.S. Naipaul, The Overcrowded Barracoon.

Asked on by vernikaa

1 Answer | Add Yours

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

As Frantz Fanon explains color prejudice, as he derives the meaning from Jean Paul Satre and Alan Burns, color prejudice, in essence, is racial hatred that is marked by reaction to dominant characteristics of visual differences, which may not apply, as Fanon explains, to prejudice as directed to Jewish people because there are not dramatically apparent dominant visual characteristics of the nature that can be identified at a glance, i.e., skin color.

Fanon's point connecting the critical role of language to color prejudice in building cultural identity is that color prejudice is so dominant a reaction that it invalidates other cultural markers such as language and relegates "Negros" instantaneously to the anti-cultural identity role of the dangerous Other.

"Maman, look, a Negro; I'm scared!"

On this point, Franon writes that (1) the Negro visage, the Negro skin color, awards him prejudiced reactions and otherness based solely on that color and that his (2) skin color keeps him externalized from being a man who has an included cultural identity and who is not the Other and that (3) not even his language, as expressed in medical knowledge, in literary knowledge and in knowledge of the quantum theory can gain him entrance to the cultural identity space where he is not the Other.

I was walled in: neither my refined manners nor my literary knowledge nor my understanding of the quantum theory could find favor.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,926 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question