|Birth Day:||July 20, 1925|
|Death Date:||Dec 6, 1961 (age 36)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Frantz Fanon died on Dec 6, 1961 (age 36).
He enlisted in the French army and fought in the battles of Alsace. He was given the Croix de guerre medal after being wounded at Colmar in 1944.
After France fell to the Nazis in 1940, Vichy French naval troops were blockaded on Martinique. Forced to remain on the island, French sailors took over the government from the Martiniquan people and established a collaborationist Vichy regime. In the face of economic distress and isolation under the blockade, they instituted an oppressive regime; Fanon described them as taking off their masks and behaving like "authentic racists". Residents made many complaints of harassment and sexual misconduct by the sailors. The abuse of the Martiniquan people by the French Navy influenced Fanon, reinforcing his feelings of alienation and his disgust with colonial racism. At the age of seventeen, Fanon fled the island as a "dissident" (a term used for Frenchmen joining Gaullist forces), traveling to British-controlled Dominica to join the Free French Forces.
Frantz Fanon was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, which was then a French colony and is now a French single territorial collectivity. His father, Félix Casimir Fanon, was a descendant of African slaves, and worked as a customs agent. His mother, Eléanore Médélice, was of Afro-Martinican and white Alsatian descent, and worked as a shopkeeper. Frantz was the third of four sons in a family of eight children. Two of them died young, including his sister Gabrielle with whom Frantz was very close. His family was socio-economically middle-class. They could afford the fees for the Lycée Schoelcher, at the time the most prestigious high school in Martinique, where Fanon came to admire one of the school's teachers, poet and writer Aimé Césaire. Fanon left Martinique in 1943, when he was 18 years old, in order to join the Free French forces.
He enlisted in the Free French army and joined an Allied convoy that reached Casablanca. He was later transferred to an army base at Béjaïa on the Kabylie coast of Algeria. Fanon left Algeria from Oran and served in France, notably in the battles of Alsace. In 1944 he was wounded at Colmar and received the Croix de guerre. When the Nazis were defeated and Allied forces crossed the Rhine into Germany along with photo journalists, Fanon's regiment was "bleached" of all non-white soldiers. Fanon and his fellow Afro-Caribbean soldiers were sent to Toulon (Provence). Later, they were transferred to Normandy to await repatriation.
In 1945, Fanon returned to Martinique. He lasted a short time there. He worked for the parliamentary campaign of his friend and mentor Aimé Césaire, who would be a major influence in his life. Césaire ran on the communist ticket as a parliamentary delegate from Martinique to the first National Assembly of the Fourth Republic. Fanon stayed long enough to complete his baccalaureate and then went to France, where he studied medicine and psychiatry.
Fanon was educated in Lyon, where he also studied literature, drama and philosophy, sometimes attending Merleau-Ponty's lectures. During this period, he wrote three plays, of which two survive. After qualifying as a psychiatrist in 1951, Fanon did a residency in psychiatry at Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole under the radical Catalan psychiatrist François Tosquelles, who invigorated Fanon's thinking by emphasizing the role of culture in psychopathology.
Fanon left France for Algeria, where he had been stationed for some time during the war. He secured an appointment as a psychiatrist at Blida-Joinville Psychiatric Hospital in 1953. He radicalized his methods of treatment, particularly beginning socio-therapy to connect with his patients' cultural backgrounds. He also trained nurses and interns. Following the outbreak of the Algerian revolution in November 1954, Fanon joined the Front de Libération Nationale, after having made contact with Dr Pierre Chaulet at Blida in 1955. Working at a French hospital in Algeria, Fanon became responsible for treating the psychological distress of the French soldiers and officers who carried out torture in order to suppress anti-colonial resistance. Additionally, Fanon was also responsible for treating Algerian torture victims. Fanon then realized that he could no longer continue to support French efforts, so he resigned from his position at the hospital in 1956. After discontinuing his work at the French hospital, Fanon was able to devote more of his time to aiding Algeria in its fight for Independence.
After his residency, Fanon practised psychiatry at Pontorson, near Mont Saint-Michel, for another year and then (from 1953) in Algeria. He was chef de service at the Blida–Joinville Psychiatric Hospital in Algeria. He worked there until being deported in January 1957.
Fanon made extensive trips across Algeria, mainly in the Kabyle region, to study the cultural and psychological life of Algerians. His lost study of "The marabout of Si Slimane" is an example. These trips were also a means for clandestine activities, notably in his visits to the ski resort of Chrea which hid an FLN base. By summer 1956 he wrote his "Letter of resignation to the Resident Minister" and made a clean break with his French assimilationist upbringing and education. He was expelled from Algeria in January 1957, and the "nest of fellaghas [rebels]" at Blida hospital was dismantled.
Although Fanon wrote Black Skin, White Masks while still in France, most of his work was written in North Africa. It was during this time that he produced works such as L'An Cinq, de la Révolution Algérienne in 1959 (Year Five of the Algerian Revolution, later republished as Sociology of a Revolution and later still as A Dying Colonialism). Fanon's original title was "Reality of a Nation"; however, the publisher, François Maspero, refused to accept this title.
Upon his return to Tunis, after his exhausting trip across the Sahara to open a Third Front, Fanon was diagnosed with leukemia. He went to the Soviet Union for treatment and experienced some remission of his illness. When he came back to Tunis once again, he dictated his testament The Wretched of the Earth. When he was not confined to his bed, he delivered lectures to Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) officers at Ghardimao on the Algero-Tunisian border. He made a final visit to Sartre in Rome. In 1961, the CIA arranged a trip to the U.S. for further leukemia treatment at a National Institutes of Health facility. During his time in the United States, Fanon was handled by CIA agent Oliver Iselin.
Fanon died in Bethesda, Maryland, on 6 December 1961, under the name of "Ibrahim Fanon", a Libyan nom de guerre that he had assumed in order to enter a hospital in Rome after being wounded in Morocco during a mission for the Algerian National Liberation Front. He was buried in Algeria after lying in state in Tunisia. Later, his body was moved to a martyrs' (chouhada) graveyard at Ain Kerma in eastern Algeria. Frantz Fanon was survived by his French wife Josie (née Dublé), their son Olivier Fanon, and his daughter from a previous relationship, Mireille Fanon-Mendès France. Josie died by suicide in Algiers in 1989. Mireille became a professor at Paris Descartes University and a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in international law and conflict resolution. She has also worked for UNESCO and the French National Assembly, and serves as president of the Frantz Fanon Foundation. Olivier worked through to his retirement as an official at the Algerian Embassy in Paris. He became president of the Frantz-Fanon National Association which was created in Algiers in 2012. His wife, Valérie Fanon-Raspail, manages the Fanon website.
Fanon is best known for the classic analysis of colonialism and decolonization, The Wretched of the Earth. The Wretched of the Earth was first published in 1961 by Éditions Maspero, with a preface by Jean-Paul Sartre. In it Fanon analyzes the role of class, race, national culture and violence in the struggle for national liberation. The book includes an article which focuses on the ideas of violence and decolonization. He claims that decolonization is inherently a violent process, because the relationship between the settler and the native is a binary of opposites. In fact, he uses the Biblical metaphor, "The last shall be first, and the first, last," to describe the moment of decolonization. The situation of settler colonialism creates within the native a tension which grows over time and in many ways is fostered by the settler. This tension is initially released among the natives, but eventually it becomes a catalyst for violence against the settler. His work would become an academic and theoretical foundation for many revolutions.
With regard to the American liberation struggle more commonly known as The Black Power Movement, Fanon's work was especially influential. His book Wretched of the Earth is quoted directly in the preface of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and Charles Hamilton's book, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation which was published in 1967, shortly after Carmichael left the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In addition, Carmichael and Hamilton include much of Fanon's theory on Colonialism in their work, beginning by framing the situation of former slaves in America as a colony situated inside a nation. "To put it another way, there is no "American dilemma" because black people in this country form a colony, and it is not in the interest of the colonial power to liberate them" (Ture Hamilton, 5). Another example is the indictment of the black middle class or what Fanon called the "colonized intellectual" as the indoctrinated followers of the colonial power. Fanon states, "The native intellectual has clothed his aggressiveness in his barely veiled desire to assimilate himself to the colonial world" (47). A third example is the idea that the natives (African Americans) should be constructing new social systems rather than participating in the systems created by the settler population. Ture and Hamilton contend that "black people should create rather than imitate" (144).
The Black Power group that Fanon had the most influence on was the Black Panther Party (BPP). In 1970 Bobby Seale, the Chairman of the BPP, published a collection of recorded observations made while he was incarcerated entitled Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton. This book, while not an academic text, is a primary source chronicling the history of the BPP through the eyes of one of its founders. While describing one of his first meetings with Huey P. Newton, Seale describes bringing him a copy of Wretched of the Earth. There are at least three other direct references to the book, all of them mentioning ways in which the book was influential and how it was included in the curriculum required of all new BPP members. Beyond just reading the text, Seale and the BPP included much of the work in their party platform. The Panther 10 Point Plan contained 6 points which either directly or indirectly referenced ideas in Fanon's work including their contention that there must be an end to the "robbery by the white man," and "education that teaches us our true history and our role in present day society" (67). One of the most important elements adopted by the BPP was the need to build the "humanity" of the native. Fanon claimed that the realization by the native that s/he was human would mark the beginning of the push for freedom (33). The BPP embraced this idea through the work of their Community Schools and Free Breakfast Programs.
Bolivian indianist Fausto Reinaga also had some Fanon influence and he mentions The Wretched of the Earth in his magnum opus La Revolución India, advocating for decolonisation of native South Americans from European influence. In 2015 Raúl Zibechi argued that Fanon had become a key figure for the Latin American left.
Frantz married Josie Fanon and was the father of Olivier and Mireille Fanon.
Currently, Frantz Fanon is 97 years, 2 months and 7 days old. Frantz Fanon will celebrate 98th birthday on a Thursday 20th of July 2023. Below we countdown to Frantz Fanon upcoming birthday.
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