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Remembering Frantz Fanon: Top 10 quotes by the Pan-African activist

Revolutionary and thinker Frantz Omar Fanon wrote on the psychopathology of colonisation, and the human, social, and cultural consequences of decolonisation. We remember and celebrate one Africa’s foremost thinkers with 10 quotes from his selected works.



Fanon’s work inspired many anti colonial and national liberation movements across Africa and the world, leaving an indelible mark on contemporary African literature. We remember and celebrate one Africa’s foremost thinkers with 10 quotes from his selected works.

1. “For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.” ― The Wretched of the Earth

2. “The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.”

3. “Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.”


4. “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.” ― The Wretched of the Earth

5. “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it in relative opacity”. ― The Wretched of the Earth

The cover of Frantz Fanon's "Black Faces, White Masks" translated into English

The cover of Frantz Fanon’s “Black Faces, White Masks” translated into English

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.” ― Black Skin, White Masks

7. “Colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the people, and distorts, disfigures and destroys it.” ― The Wretched of the Earth

8. “A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves.” ― The Wretched of the Earth

9. “Having judged, condemned, abandoned his cultural forms, his language, his food habits, his sexual behavior, his way of sitting down, of resting, of laughing, of enjoying himself, the oppressed flings himself upon the imposed culture with the desperation of a drowning man.” ― Toward the African Revolution


10. “The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country’s cultural standards.” ― Black Skin, White Masks.

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