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Frantz Fanon
​On Fanonian Theory
​Josie Fanon
​    Mireille Fanon


& Editorials

Why is it possible now to speak of Fanonism just when it seems that organizations dedicated to liberation of the working class have been dissipated; when neither socialist nor capitalist African or Caribbean nation-states have rescinded the borders bequeathed to them by their colonial masters and formed new unions? Why is it possible to speak of Fanonism when anti-black racism is nowhere on the wane? What then are some parameters of a decolonizing psychology and sociological dimensions of Fanon's approach to the human sciences?. 

It is arguable that Fanonism is like an apparition, a specter in or memories analogous to Jacques Derrida's understanding of Marxism in Specters of Marx: a haunting in memory, empowered to shape our identity but empty as a theoretical source describing who or what we are, the why of our predicament or the what of our particular theater.   

Is Fanonism, like Derrida's Marxism, a quaint collection of interesting theory, a historical memory, available as enriching discourse without a further presumption of its direct applicability, explanatory power, or predictive efficacy? Is Fanonism a feature of our haunting past, an apparition, a skull?. 

Since the publication of the Wretched of the Earth, Fanon has been without question on of the most influential figures in Third World revolutionary thought--equaled in influence only, perhaps by Karl Marx. From the last years of his life to the present day, a form of intellectual production has evolved which we shall refer to as "Fanon Studies"

Fanon Studies can be characterized in four stages. The first stage consisted of the various applications of and reactions to his work. This stage was represented by such revolutionary thinkers as Fidel Castro, Che' Guevara, Huey Newton, Paulo Freire, and many others on the one hand, and reaction texts from such diverse figures as the liberals as Hannah Arendt and Sidney Hook and the Marxist-Leninists Nguyen Nghe and Jack Woddis on the other hand.

The second stage was primarily biographical. This stage is best represented by the biographical writings of Irene Gendzier, Peter Geismar, and David Caute, among others. As should be evident, Fanon's life was extraordinary. An unfortunate consequence was that some of his biographers felt that that warranted extraordinary explanations. Bulhan's study provides point-by-point dismissal of a number of extraordinary efforts to explain how Fanon "came into being," as it were.

The third stage was one of intensive research on Fanon's significance in political theory. The work of Hussein Adam, Emmanuel Hansen, and Renate Zahar stand out in this stage. The impact of their scholarship and of several determined political scientists is that the importance of Fano's writings has been recognized by political science departments and other political theorists. 

The fourth stage, which is still under way, is linked to the ascent of post-modern cultural and post-colonial studies in the academy. This stage is represented by such scholars as Edward Said; Homi K. Bhabha; Abdul Jan Mohammed, Gayatri Spivak, Benita Parry,  Henry Louis Gates Jr.,  and from a Marxist perspective by Cedric Robinson. Two striking features of postcolonial studies treatment of Fanon are (1) the extent to which, with the exception of Said, JanMohamad and Parry, Fanon has been attacked under a number of fashionable designations such as misogynous, homophobic, anti-black, anti-Caribbean, anti-Arab, and petit-bourgeois.

These attacks, particularly in their postmodern manifestation, have taken the form of familiar Lyotardian clichés that characterize denigration of liberation theorists in this milieu. In a nutshell, liberation theorists, especially the 1950s and 1960s variety, are either structurally "modern" and hence passe, or prescriptively "totalizing" and hence terrorizing. A particularly popular turn has been to earmark their modernity and totalizing tendencies as exclusionary in practice and hence militating against marginalized groups--especially women. ..Fanon devoted 
a number of pages to discussions of feminist theory and resistance that were in fact ahead of their time. 

Postcolonial studies have fortunately not marked the final stage of Fanon studies, if it makes sense to speak of a "final stage." Today, there is a fifth stage of Fanon scholarship. This stage consists of engagements with the thought of Fanon for the development of original work across the entire sphere of human studies. Its purpose is neither to glorify nor denigrate Fanon but instead to explore ways in which he is a useful thinker. 

It took some time until the fifth stage gathered steam. The fifth stage can said to have been fully under way by 1995, by virtue of the publication of Tsenay Serequeberhan's The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy, which is greatly influenced by Fanon's work, and Lewis R. Gordon's Fanon and the Crisis of European Man, followed by Ato Sekyi-Otu's Fanon's 
Dialectics of Experience. A key feature of these works is that even in cases where Fanon's name is prominent in the title, the objectives are ultimately the disciplines themselves: African philosophy, philosophy of human sciences, and phenomenologies of experience.   

This volume of the Fanon Reader, encourages ongoing critical dialogue in Fanon studies across a variety of disciplinary fields and is rooted in the fifth stage of Fanon Studies. It is the first collective effort of an interdisciplinary group of scholars. 

In closing, we would like to dispel one popular conclusion that may be drawn from our discussion.  It is our view that the  tendency to read Fanon in terms of what we shall call "​theoretical decadence," where Fanon's thought is expected to be reduced to one discipline rather than another, should be avoided in the interest of learning how to read him with imagination and clarity. 

Fanon was not only a psychiatrist or a philosopher or a revolutionary . He was a complex man who utilized all the disciplinary resources, whether literary or scientific at his disposal. He was therefore, in the truest sense a radical thinker. It was Fanon who insisted in 1952, at the threshold of the threshold of the upheaval that was his career, that his body should make him of him, always, a man who questions. So it has been been.    

The Fanonian Possibility
& The Five Stages of Fanon Studies 
from the Fanon Reader 

by Leonard Harris, Carolyn Johnson, Lewis Gordon, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting & Renee White
Port Au' Prince - The Quiet Before the Storm 
Statement by New 
Black Nationalists 


by Selwyn Trench

To the people of Haiti: 

Take Control of Port Au' Prince

Today, NewBlackNationalism.com's Editorial Board urged the people of Port Au' Prince, to take control of the capital city, and establish a provisional governing structure on behalf of the people of Haiti. We urge the people of Port Au Prince to defy emergency rule, flood the streets, and remain there until the government resigns.

If you go into the streets in overwhelming numbers and refuse of leave, the police must attempt to shoot hundreds and thousands of peaceful protestors down as the world watches on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube or refuse the order and back down.  

The police cannot and will not commit mass genocide against its own people, nor do we believe at this moment there is a commanding figure in Haiti's government who can compel them to do so: not Pierre, not Henry, not Joseph, and not Lambert.

They are cowards, they are weak and fighting with each other over who can cut the deal with Washington, D.C. to get the backing as the new head crony-in-charge. They are not focused on the people of Haiti, but themselves.  

But the Biden Administration doesn't trust them either. That's why they are refusing to send U.S, troops--at least for now. The Biden Administration is admitting they don't know whose in power in Port Au' Prince, and they aren't willing to back a weak dictator-in-training.

​What all this means is that power is now in the hands of the people of Haiti. You just haven't taken it yet. 

You may never have a better opportunity to rid yourselves of American Empire's domination of your sacred homeland than right now. Take it. 

At this moment, it doesn't matter whether Haitian capitalists like Reginald Boulos, Dimitri Vorbe and others who wanted Moises out of the way are involved or not. They have gone into hiding. Move against them, their interests, and lackeys while they are on the defensive. 

Don't be distracted by the phony debate about who should be in charge of Haiti: Ariel Henry , Claude Joseph, Mathias Pierre or Joseph Lambert. It is a waste of your time, and right now time is everything.  

While they are fighting to determine who will be American Empire's next bootlicker: Haiti's people can be organizing their own neighborhood security patrols, designating community leaders for a temporary governing council in Port Au Prince, making provisions for food distribution in the city with relief agencies, and negotiating with police units, leaders and gangs to come over to the side of the people.  

Your phone lines should be humming, contacting would-be supporters in Cap-Haitian, Port-de-Paix, Gonaives and other cities seeking supporters for a new people's government.  

From NBN contacts here in South Florida, we can tell you that the Haitian communities here, New York, Paris, and London are with you. You are not alone. 

Let's be clear, right now: the old order cannot restore order. Haiti has been out of order for years. It is only the millions of poor disenfranchised people in Haiti who can restore order. 

Right now, ​you are the government! 

You marched, you protested, you demanded that Moise step down. The tyrant gave you tear gas, police batons, and prison time. You didn't kill Moise, he was the author of his own destruction because he refused to hear your voices.  

You don't need Joseph or Henry or Mathias to conduct more phony investigations with America's FBI and the Columbian military. You don't need them to tell you what you already know: that some combination of the U.S., government, Columbian henchmen, and Haitian collaborators carried out this cold-blooded execution. Don't fall into the trap of wasting time, while they are trying to regroup to re-establish control of the city.

Peoples' revolutions occur when the governmental political system collapses; when societies' institutions fail; when infighting between the ruling class leads to paralysis and the failure to resolve the crisis; when the police and armed forces fracture and refuse to shoot down the masses, and when the people take the initiative to go on the offensive. 

That is why you cannot wait. As New Black Nationalists have insisted in our work Crisis Theory, when an existential crisis suddenly emerges, you must act within a narrow window when the system is least able to offer resistance or a counter-attack. That moment has arrived in Haiti, and it may only last for a few days. 

 If Haiti's people you are going languish in the poor house because of high gas and food prices; If your taxes are going to line the pockets of Vorbe and Boulos and politicians; If Haiti's people are going to be the poorest and only country in the Western Hemisphere with no COVID-19 vaccines, you might as well form your own coalition government. 

There are rumors that Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier and the “Revolutionary Forces of the G-9 Family and Allies,” are calling for a people's "revolution." 

Mr. Cherizier, the ex-policeman and reputed gang-leader, may have a checkered background; he may not be another François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, but could a people's coalition government that includes a role for the G-9 Family be worse than being ruled by Papa Doc Duvalier? 

Every element of an existential crisis now exist in Haiti. The only question on the table now is whether the people will act. Most revolutions don't fail because the people are not powerful enough to overthrow the old order: they fail or never happen because the people hesitate. They allow doubt about the outcome to govern their fears. Don't make that mistake

Take the nation and your destiny into your hands now. Strike while the iron is hot and your adversaries are disorganized. Your uprising will be supported by millions of people around the world. 

If Haitian slaves could rise to defeat Napoleon, you can surely be masters of your own fate. The crisis moment has matured. Seize it.  

From the stateless maroons of the New Black Nationalist Movement.