50 Quotes by Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon, a Martinican-born psychiatrist and philosopher, emerged as a prominent voice in the discourse on colonialism, racism, and post-colonial identity. His seminal work "The Wretched of the Earth" remains a foundational text in postcolonial studies, exploring the psychological impact of colonization on both the colonized and the colonizer. Fanon's ideas on the dehumanizing effects of racial discrimination and his advocacy for decolonization have had a profound influence on anti-colonial movements and critical theory. Drawing from his clinical experiences, Fanon analyzed the psychological toll of oppression and the potential for collective liberation. His insistence on the necessity of violent resistance to colonialism sparked debate and controversy, but his work undeniably contributed to the global understanding of the complex dynamics of power, identity, and social justice.

Frantz Fanon Quotes


Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. (Meaning)

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When you hear someone insulting the Jews, pay attention; he is talking about you. (Quote Meaning)

I am not a prisoner of history. I should not seek there for the meaning of my destiny. (Meaning)

The colonized underdeveloped man is a political creature in the most global sense of the term. (Quote Meaning)

When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe. (Meaning)

For the colonized, life can only materialize from the rotting cadaver of the colonist. (Quote Meaning)

I feel in myself a soul as immense as the world. (Meaning)

Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. (Quote Meaning)

We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe. (Meaning)

To educate the masses politically does not mean making a political speech. (Quote Meaning)

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Each generation must discover its mission (Meaning)

Wealth is not the fruit of labor but the result of organized protected robbery. (Quote Meaning)

Violence is a cleansing force. (Meaning)

Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot (Quote Meaning)

Every colonized people-in other words, every people in whose soul an inferiority complex has been created by the death and burial of its local cultural originality-finds itself face to face with the language of the civilizing nation; that is, with the culture of the mother country. The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country's cultural standards.

A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves. (Meaning)

The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.

What matters is not to know the world but to change it. (Quote Meaning)

The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.

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National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people, commonwealth: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonization is always a violent phenomenon.

To educate the masses politically is to make the totality of the nation a reality to each citizen. It is to make the history of the nation part of the personal experience of each of its citizens.

The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves. (Meaning)

He who is reluctant to recognize me opposes me. (Quote Meaning)

The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.

And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization a simply a question of relative strength.

For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.

There are too many idiots in this world. And having said it, I have the burden of proving it.

Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.

If the building of a bridge does not enrich the awareness of those who work on it, then the bridge ought not to be built.

A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language. (Meaning)

The gaze that the colonized subject casts at the colonist's sector is a look of lust, a look of envy. Dreams of possession. Every type of possession; of sitting at the colonist's table and sleeping in his bed, preferably with his wife. The colonized man is an envious man.

In the World through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself. (Quote Meaning)

The Church in the colonies is the white people's Church, the foreigner's Church. She does not call the native to God's ways but to the ways of the white man, of the master, of the oppressor.

The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.

Get used to me, I am not getting used to anyone.

Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions

To speak means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.

They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.

O my body, make of me always a man who questions! (Meaning)

The native must realize that colonialism never gives anything away for nothing.

Hate demands existence, and he who hates has to show his hate in appropriate actions and behaviors; in a sense, he has to become hate. That is why the Americans have substituted discrimination for lynching.

The living expression of the nation is the collective consciousness in motion of the entire people.

Anti-Semitism hits me on the head: I am enraged, I am bled white by an appalling battle, I am deprived of the possibility of being man. I cannot disassociate myself from the future that is proposed for my brother.

I came into this world anxious to uncover the meaning of things, my soul desirous to be at origin of the world, and here I am an object among other objects.

In the colonial context the settler only ends his work of breaking in the native when the latter admits loudly and intelligibly the supremacy of the white man's values.

Violence is man re-creating himself. (Quote Meaning)

When people like me, they like me "in spite of my color." When they dislike me; they point out that it isn't because of my color. Either way, I am locked in to the infernal circle.

Mastery of language affords remarkable power. (Meaning)

For the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white. (Quote Meaning)

The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much bigger business of plunder.

Fervor is the weapon of choice of the impotent. (Meaning)

The life of the nation is shot through with a certain falseness and hypocrisy, which are all the more tragic because they are so often subconscious rather than deliberate ... The soul of the people is putrescent, and until that becomes regenerate and clean, no good work can be done.

It is the white man who creates the Negro. But it is the negro who creates negritude.

I am black: I am the incarnation of a complete fusion with the world, an intuitive understanding of the earth, an abandonment of my ego in the heart of the cosmos, and no white man, no matter how intelligent he may be, can ever understand Louis Armstrong and the music of the Congo.

To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture. (Quote Meaning)

The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country's cultural standards.

Certain things need to be said if one is to avoid falsifying the problem.

Negrophobes exist. It is not hatred of the Negro, however, that motivates them; they lack the courage for that, or they have lost it. (Meaning)

When I search for Man in the technique and the style of Europe, I see only a succession of negations of man, and an avalanche of murders.

Introducing someone as a "Negro poet with a University degree" or again, quite simply, the expression, "a great black poet." These ready-made phrases, which seem in a common-sense way to fill a need-or have a hidden subtlety, a permanent rub.

Zombies, believe me, are more terrifying than colonists. (Quote Meaning)

I came into the world imbued with the will to find a meaning in things, my spirit filled with the desire to attain to the source of the world, and then I found that I was an object in the midst of other objects.

Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions.

I, the man of color, want only this: That the tool never possess the man. That the enslavement of man by man cease forever. That is, of one by another. That it be possible for me to discover and to love man, wherever he may be.

The misfortune of the man of color is having been enslaved. The misfortune and inhumanity of the white man are having killed man somewhere.

For violence, like Achilles' lance, can heal the wounds it has inflicted.

However painful it may be for me to accept this conclusion, I am obliged to state it: for the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white.

There is a point at which methods devour themselves.

No attempt must be made to encase man, for it is his destiny to be set free.

I feel my soul as vast as the world, truly a soul as deep as the deepest of rivers; my chest has the power to expand to infinity. I was made to give and they prescribe for me the humility of the cripple.

Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society - which is based on myths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement - will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.

We believe that an individual must endeavor to assume the universalism inherent in the human condition.

For Europe, for ourselves and for humanity, comrades, we must turn over a new leaf, we must work out new concepts, and try to set afoot a new man.

― Frantz Fanon Quotes

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