The objectification of the white woman immediately caught my attention. She was to be used: for sexual gratification, to fulfill a ‘ritual of initiation into “authentic manhood”’ (Fanon 52), to ‘de-racialize’ the black man. Wait…what? De-racialize the black man? Fanon’s socio-economic background meant a white partner would have gone a considerable way in establishing his status in society. As for me, while still an ignorant youngster, I always knew that the fairer a girl’s complexion, the prettier she was. It was a fact, but I didn’t know why—just like how Jeun Veneuse, as Fanon noted, didn’t know why he loved Andreé. However, unlike Veneuse and Fanon, I wasn’t acutely aware that there was a problem with my skin colour that needed correcting.
The above excerpt is from Ronald Williams’ review of the chapter ‘The Man of Colour and the White Woman’ in Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, this week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.
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