Frantz Fanon Quotes On Race, Language, and Revolution
August 10, 2022 5:00 AM EST
These Frantz Fanon quotes highlight the philosopher’s thoughts on racism, the dominative qualities of colonization, and the psychological reasoning behind revolution.
Frantz Fanon was a World War II veteran from the French colony of Martinique.
After the war, he studied medicine and psychiatry.
Fanon often treated Algerian and French soldiers and his observations from his clients helped shape his philosophical ideations.
He later authored several books that reflect his observations as well as political philosophies.
Below is our collection of philosophical, thought-provoking Frantz Fanon quotes about race, colonization, and revolution.
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Frantz Fanon quotes on language and communication
1. “A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language.” – Frantz Fanon
2. “I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.” – Frantz Fanon
3. “To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.” – Frantz Fanon
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4. “Mastery of language affords remarkable power.” – Frantz Fanon
5. “One avoids Creolisms. Some families completely forbid Creole and mothers ridicule their children for speaking it.” – Frantz Fanon
6. “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. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Frantz Fanon
7. “Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.” – Frantz Fanon
8. “Certain things need to be said if one is to avoid falsifying the problem.” – Frantz Fanon
9. “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.” – Frantz Fanon
10. “He who is reluctant to recognize me opposes me.” – Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon quotes on race and racism
11. “I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos — and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.” – Frantz Fanon
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12. “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 into the infernal circle.” – Frantz Fanon
13. “Negrophobes exist. It is not hatred of the Negro, however, that motivates them; they lack the courage for that, or they have lost it.” – Frantz Fanon
14. “The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.” – Frantz Fanon
15. “I, the man of color, want only this: That the tool never possess the man. That the enslavement of man by man ceases forever. That is, of one by another. That it be possible for me to discover and to love man, wherever he may be.” – Frantz Fanon
16. “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.” – Frantz Fanon
17. “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.” – Frantz Fanon
18. “Taking the continent as a whole, this religious tension may be responsible for the revival of the commonest racial feeling. Africa is divided into Black and White, and the names that are substituted- Africa south of the Sahara, Africa north of the Sahara- do not manage to hide this latent racism. Here, it is affirmed that White Africa has a thousand-year-old tradition of culture; that she is Mediterranean, that she is a continuation of Europe and that she shares in Graeco-Latin civilization. Black Africa is looked on as a region that is inert, brutal, uncivilized – in a word, savage.” – Frantz Fanon
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19. “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.” – Frantz Fanon
20. “When a bachelor of philosophy from the Antilles refuses to apply for certification as a teacher on the grounds of his color I say that philosophy has never saved anyone.” – Frantz Fanon
21. “When someone else strives and strains to prove to me that black men are as intelligent as white men I say that intelligence has never saved anyone.” – Frantz Fanon
22. “If philosophy and intelligence are invoked to proclaim the equality of men, they have also been employed to justify the extermination of men.” – Frantz Fanon
Frantz Fanon quotes on colonialism
23. “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” – Frantz Fanon
24. “The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country’s cultural standards.” – Frantz Fanon
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25. “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.” – Frantz Fanon
Did you learn anything from these Frantz Fanon quotes?
Do you agree with his perspective on colonization, revolution, and freedom?
Frantz Fanon was in the unique position to be able to combine his clinical psychiatric studies with his personal experience of being a person of color living on a colonized island in a racist world and use those experiences and studies to shape his philosophical works.
The works of Frantz Fanon have remained an important collection of philosophy in the social science space and continue to influence great thinkers today.
Did you like these Frantz Fanon quotes and sayings?
Let us know which quote was your favorite in the comment section below.
February 2, 2021 at 9:41 AM
The things that I ponder are affirmed by the quotes of Frantz Fanon.