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dr franz fallon
Dr. Franz Fanon (1925-61) Martinquan born psycho-analysis and theorist of anti-imperialism revolution. He was educated at the Lycee Schoelcher in Fort-de-France, where one of his teachers was his distinguished country man Aime Cesaire. The island was then ruled by the French navy (under the auspices of the Vichy regime, who collaborated with the Nazis), after his third attempt Fanon managed to escape to Dominica, where he joined the Forces Francaises Libres. He fought with the Forces Francaises in Morocco, Algeria and in France, with such valour that he was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1945. During 1947-51 he studied medicine and specialised in psychiatry, at the University of Lyons. In 1952 he published his seminal piece on psychology of racism, and race relations, 'Peau noire masques blancs'. 'Black face, white mask'. This has been widely regarded as humanistic or rational investigation, but which reaches authentically revolutionary conclusions. In 1953 he was appointed psychiatric consultant at the Hospital Blida-Joinville in Algeria. From the outbreak of the Algerian war of independence waged by the FLN in 1954, he sympathised with the rebels, and resigned his post in 1956 to devote his energies to the liberation cause. This led to him being expelled by the French from Algeria in 1957, he went to Tunisia where he worked and contributed regular articles to the FLN newspaper, El Moudjahid. In 1959 he wrote a probing analysis of the psychology and sociology of the war in Algeria titled, 'L An Cinq de la revolution Algerienne', which was banned by the French government. That same year an attempt was made on his life in Rome, where he went for medical treatment after being injured by a land mine explosion on the Tunisian-Algerian border. Fanon was chosen to represent the Algerian Provisional Government in Ghana, but fell ill and was diagnosed as suffering from incurable leukaemia. He was treated in Moscow, and on his return to Tunisia, in the space of ten short weeks wrote his last and most celebrated work 'Les Damnes de la terre' in 1961. In this book Fanon argued not only that colonialism cannot be overthrown without violence, but also, and still more controversially, that only violent struggle can truly liberate colonised humanity from the multiple psychological alienation from which it suffers. It was translated into English as 'The Wretched of the Earth', with a preface by the great French philosopher Sartre, this book Fanon's last bequest, had an enormous influence on anti-colonial and anti-racist struggles world-wide! It became an inspirational text for the Black Power Movement in the 1960's and early 1970s, in the United States. While critics question its conclusions, concerning violence, they nonetheless remain unanimous that its analysis of the social psychology of colonialism remains unsurpassed.