We are not separate.

In May 2015, Barbadian artist Ronald Williams wrote a review about Frantz Fanon’s ‘The Wretched of the Earth‘ for the Fresh Milk Books platform; a book that addresses the complex role violence, protests and resistance play in decolonisation.

The Wretched of the Earth - Frantz Fanon

“My mind kept drifting across the Caribbean Sea as I read. It drifted and eventually channelled into the relatively recent acts of police barbarism in the U.S.A. It’s not because it’s a current issue that I feel connected, it’s slightly personal. I could just as easily be at the mercy of this brutality had I been born 20 degrees north and west.”

Five years later, Ronald’s words continue to ring true. We are not separate to this fight. Caribbean voices and experiences are a necessary part of the discourse as we not only empathise, but stand in solidarity against what is happening globally, and challenge the ways systemic racism has manifested and damaged our region.

Frantz Fanon & the Pursuit of ‘the White Girl’ – #CCF

Photo by Sølve Sundsbø

Photo by Sølve Sundsbø

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.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Tuesdays  and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!

The Fact of Blackness – #CCF

Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon (1952). Photograph by Dondré Trotman.

Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon (1952). Photograph by Dondré Trotman.

“Who am I?/ I am a black man, of that I’m sure. / I am a black man…I’m sure. After all, the colour of my skin proves that fact. / So I am a black man, but I’m not sure of much more” states Frantz Fanon, a leading black intellectual of the 20th century. What I liked about Fanon’s essay “The Fact of Blackness” was his autobiographical address of the ‘black identity issue’- a topic that is still a major refrain of popular culture.

The above excerpt is from Ronald Williams’ review of Fanon’s essay ‘The Fact of Blackness’, which is the first piece to be featured on our newly launched Fresh Milk Books Tumblr, the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.

For new Critical. Creative. Fresh reviews every week, look out for our #CCF Tuesdays and see the good reads we have available at Fresh Milk!