From the Publisher
“The writing of Malcolm X or Eldridge Cleaver or Amiri Baraka or the Black Panther leaders reveals how profoundly they have been moved by the thoughts of Frantz Fanon. The Boston Globe
“Have the courage to read this book.”Jean-Paul Sartre
“This century’s most compelling theorist of racism and colonialism.” Angela Davis
“The value of The Wretched of the Earth [lies] in its relation to direct experience, in the perspective of the Algerian revolution. . . . Fanon forces his readers to see the Algerian revolutionand by analogy other contemporary revolutionsfrom the viewpoint of the rebels.”Conor Cruise O’Brien, Nation
“The Wretched of the Earth is an explosion.”Emile Capouya, Saturday Review
“This is not so much a book as a rock thrown through the window of the West. It is the Communist Manifesto or the Mein Kampf of the anticolonial revolution, and as such it is highly important for any Western reader who wants to understand the emotional force behind that revolution.”Time
Frantz Fanon's influence on the thinking of the proponents of black power has been enormous. One finds references to his ideas in the works of authors such as Maulana Karenga, James H. Cone, and James Forman. An explanation for this can be found in the timeliness of his seminal work, The Wretched of the Earth.
According to William L. Van Deburg,
... the ideological underpinnings of the Black Power movement owed a great deal to the conceptualizations of Frantz Fanon, a black psychiatrist from Martinique who had joined a career as physician/scholar with that of a political militant in service of the Algerian revolution. Fanon, whose work, The Wretched of the Earth was published (just before his death) provided black American activists with a compelling analysis of the consciousness and situation of "colonized" peoples everywhere. Chief among his teachings was that violence in support of political and cultural liberation was a positive force, one that was both psychologically empowering and tactically sound. Forceful opposition to an oppressive regime was said to reaffirm the humanity of the oppressed, allowing them to "experience themselves as men."
Armed with this wisdom, mid-sixties activist intellectuals began to speak of African America as an internal colony at war with the forces of cultural degradation and assimilation. By adopting variants of Fanon's concepts, rank-and-file Black Power militants were able to identify with the colonized of the Third World even as they affirmed the notion that violent acts could lead to both mental catharsis and meaningful political change.