How was Fanon received among intellectuals and what was his influence on the formation of black identities in Brazil? His work took time being noticed, because of the particularities of the Latin-American left of the s, because of a racial and national system totally opposed to racial conflicts and because of the limited number of black researchers addressing the subject of the formation of the black identity or the assertion of the rights of the racially oppressed. Fanon remained a black revolutionary wearing the white masks imposed on him by European universalist culture. The first was in the s amid the riots of the Black Panthers.
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How was Fanon received among intellectuals and what was his influence on the formation of black identities in Brazil? His work took time being noticed, because of the particularities of the Latin-American left of the s, because of a racial and national system totally opposed to racial conflicts and because of the limited number of black researchers addressing the subject of the formation of the black identity or the assertion of the rights of the racially oppressed.
Fanon remained a black revolutionary wearing the white masks imposed on him by European universalist culture. The first was in the s amid the riots of the Black Panthers. The second was his reception by Abdias do Nascimento and young black students and professionals in the s.
The third is going on today through postcolonial and subaltern studies. We often speak about Fanonian studies, such is the volume of research that has been based on his work. My black Brazilian colleagues and students have the same admiration, respect and devotion for him as their black North American and African brothers.
However, when I looked for material to write this article, I was met with a conspicuous silence, both in cultural and academic journals, which lasted all the way to the mid s. However, after this phase, contrary to what occurred in other places, his thinking did not become the object of elucidating and critical reflection on the part of Brazilian universities and academics who were established in study centres, as was the case with other revolutionary thinkers.
The first is that his lukewarm reception was due to a national and racial makeup totally opposed to racial conflicts, highly instilled within an intellectual middle class which was white and mixed race, yet racially colourless. That is, the Brazil of racial democracy. The second thesis explains the limited dissemination of Fanonian studies by the small number of black professors and researchers at Brazilian universities who focus on the formation of black identity or the affirmation of racially oppressed subjects as their area of study.
It is as if the publication of Peau noire, masques blancs Fanon b, had passed unnoticed. It also published some reactions to these studies. Bastide himself, after having returned from Paris in , regularly wrote critiques and commentaries on books which were released in Europe, mainly in France; but he does not mention Fanon in his reviewing activities. That is all. Sartre and Beauvoir arrived in Rio de Janeiro from Havana, in order to promote international solidarity in support of the Cuban revolution and the war of liberation in Algeria Beauvoir Certainly the Brazilian intelligentsia, in close contact with what was happening in Paris, accompanied, through Les Temps Modernes , the anti-colonialist positions held by Sartre.
His journeys into China, Cuba and Brazil clearly had a militant character. But now, in , Sartre was in Brazil, defending the very same anti-imperialist positions held by communists and the catholic left in relation to Cuba and Latin America, Asia and Africa; and thus the anti-racist and anti-colonial struggle of Africans and Afro-Americans came into closer proximity to Brazil.
Sartre also drew attention to the social inequality which Brazilian black people suffered from, as he became aware that all his contacts were white from the middle and upper classes:. That may be so. Here, assimilation and integration did not seem like some ingenious discourse of domination; on the contrary, they seem to have amulatado 3 the country, as Freyre wanted and as Jorge Amado, their host, believed.
In fact, Sartre and Beauvoir were already familiar with both their ideas. We must remember that extracts from Cacau had been published in Les Temps Modernes Amado , which also published a favourable review of the French edition of Masters and Slaves Pouillon , and that The Two Deaths of Quincas Wateryell would be published by the same journal after his return to Paris Amado In the first, there was a contraposition between the north and the south with regard to the issues of de-colonisation and racism.
Sartre had actively participated in the construction of the position held by the south. Negritude, according to him, was anti-racist racism. Since the s, however, he started to open up the pages of his journal to a new theory of racism in the post-war period: the type of racism which, despite being conceptually denied, actually occurred and was experienced in the social and political practices of the colonizers and colonized.
In relation to the second axis, polarization was between the intellectuals who defended the bourgeois and liberal order, on the one hand, and those who spoke up for the interests of workers and peasants, from a Marxist or other ideological point of view. The first axis is marked by races and by de-colonization; the second by the struggle of the classes and by anti-imperialism.
Thus, Sartre and Fanon represented a fusion of anti-imperialism, anti-racism, de-colonization and the struggle of the classes. The only thing that divided them was the defence of the bourgeois order or a commitment towards class struggle. Races therefore, disappeared, with the conceptual and political overexposure given to the idea of social classes. The same happened in all of Latin America, including in socialist Cuba, which Fanon wanted to become acquainted with Gordon, Sharpley-Whiting and White 4 and which Sartre came to know in The original sources are also, in both cases, identical: Hegel, the young Marx, Sartre and Balandier.
They had the same inclination for Hegel and for existentialism; however when considering their different national situations and personal projects, Guerreiro was led to hold nationalist and populist positions Paiva , separating him from the revolutionary doctrines which preached violence as a means of social transformation or which argued for the maintenance of different cultures between colonized and colonizers 5.
Two remarks are necessary at this point. First, the debate over revolutionary violence was so important at this time that the Brazilian Left was discussing guerrilla tactics, urban uprisings, and reading Third World strategists in a very pragmatic mood.
Some facts need to be mentioned so that we can understand how this difficult relationship between Fanon and the Brazilian left was established. In Brazil, the left revered Fanon, but read him in French, and did not cite him; imposing on itself a respectful silence. The Monthly Review MR Marxists, whose articles were regularly translated and published by Brazilian journals, did not behave in the same way.
The young black radicals who read him, who internalize his vision and respond with such great fervor to his ideas are, after all, people who are struggling intensely against a system they are not at all sure they can bring down. And there is one further idea that Fanon, a Negro doctor from Martinique who wrote about the Algerian Revolution, suggests to these young radicals: that the system they are fighting and the one he was fighting are one and the same, and that both he and they oppose a common oppressor in the name of a common vision.
What is certain is that finally in a Brazilian edition of The Wretched of the Earth was released but was quickly taken out of circulation by the organs of political repression, but not before it fell into the hands of dozens of militants. It was explosive food for thought for both the class struggle and for the racial democracy project.
In this sentence we hear the echo of the tortures which started to become routine during the military regime, and also a display of some sympathy for interpretations similar to those of Goldman 55 :. When Ianni returned to Brazil in the s and was re-integrated into the university environment, he made the reading of Fanon compulsory for his classes and recommended it to black students who came to him Catholics, for example, who increasingly gained influence as the communist parties were decimated by political repression, did not totally condemn the revolutionary violence of the colonised and anti-racism, to which the name of Fanon was intricately linked.
The journal Paz e Terra Peace and Earth , an entity very closely linked to the catholic left, published in its 7th edition a translation of an article by Raymond Domergue, which used the very same The Wretched of the Earth as a parameter to draft a blueprint for Catholic political action in face of the emergence of revolutionary struggles in the Third World. Revolutionary violence is nothing but the transposition of a previous violence which has its roots in a type of economical exploitatio.
This is what he insinuates in two passages of Pedagogy of Hope :. Possibly, when establishing their co-existence with Pedagogia do oprimido , and referring to the educational practice to which they were accustomed, they must have felt the same emotion that took hold of me when I started getting into Condenados da Terra and the The Colonizer and The Colonized.
That pleasant sensation which takes hold of us when we reaffirm the reason for our sense of security. As the manuscript is dated to and the first edition to , this is a plausible interpretation. But, at the same time, Freire indicated that he read Fanon in the Mexican edition of The fact is, therefore, that he became aware of Fanon between and , a period of radical changes in his thinking:.
Up until that point Freire had little time for theoretical work, and he was now able to return to his starting point of Until then, Freire had been unable to digest new influences and theoretically incorporate new positions; for this reason, his ideas could not keep pace with his practice and he lacked, at that moment, the theoretical and methodological tools which would allow him to re-interpret reality and profoundly revise his pedagogical discourse. Xavier makes a connection between Fanon and Glauber in the following sentence:.
Whilst he does not take up arms the colonised is a slave: it was necessary for the first policeman to die for the Frenchman to notice the Algerian.
It is far more likely that he had read Sartre, since he says in another text:. But Xavier is right: in Glauber Rocha, Fanon seemed to be fully alive, not half-heartedly, he becomes a way of thinking and not just a name. Both left Brazil after It was published by Fator, which specialised in psychoanalytical works. Undoubtedly there was a convergence of editorial interests in a work that is very much influenced by psychoanalysis, and the commercial interest in feeding a new market created by a middle class with race consciousness, since Fanon had become training literature.
Florentina Souza says:. He said something unforgettable, and I will cite it from memory That they would shout out nice, friendly words?
Indeed they are. Black mouths shouting against injustice and oppression. Fists raised, in the twilight of that moment when, in a big city, tired men go home. The humiliation of centuries, only the resilience of the people could have put up with this. Just like that! He debates the importance of not losing sight of the objective conditions of being a black person and a worker.
References to this fact are plentiful in the literature. I will only pursue some of these. There is no documentation available on the surveillance and perceptions of Black Soul and the black movement in general during this period, due to the nature of the regimes during the dictatorship. That was amazing! Fanon was so important, violence as the midwife of History. It advocated the violence of the colonised, the hatred Fanon meant more to me than Che Guevara, because Che was a revolutionary that was dead, therefore he had lost, and it was here in America and he was not black.
Fanon was black. I felt a greater affinity towards him. It was terrible And I fell in love with all that, in my head. It is applicable not only to the colonial situation, but also to neo-colonial and capitalist societies with a large contingency of labour from the old colonies.
In the first case, as we have seen, the fundamental function of racism is the legitimation of direct occupation and exploitation. In the neo-colonial situation, race discrimination is used with the same objectives, with the necessary adaptations to a new reality. It supports the mechanism of neo-colonial subordination. There are references to classes or layers of society. The proletariat, the lumpenproletariat and the peasantry deserve some attention [since] they lack characterization.
There are references to the bourgeoisie and to the local elites, possibly consisting of members of the bourgeoisie. His analysis favours the urban-rural polarization.
The second phase, which they denominated biographic, did not have representatives in Brazil, and was practically ignored. Not only is there no biography of Fanon written by a Brazilian author, there is not yet a single biography of Fanon edited in Brazil. But also in relation to this phase, Fanon is only a reference, and these studies did not generate thinking in Brazil about his political ideas on a wider scale, or of a more original nature.
The fourth and last phase, that of post-colonial studies, is still practically new in Brazil, and reaches us only through the commentaries of Bahba, Gilroy, Gates Jr.
Los condenados de la tierra
The French-language title derives from the opening lyrics of " The Internationale ". Through critiques of nationalism and of imperialism , Fanon presents a discussion of personal and societal mental health , a discussion of how the use of language vocabulary is applied to the establishment of imperialist identities, such as colonizer and colonized , to teach and psychologically mold the native and the colonist into their respective roles as slave and master and a discussion of the role of the intellectual in a revolution. Fanon proposes that revolutionaries should seek the help of the lumpenproletariat to provide the force required to effect the expulsion of the colonists. In traditional Marxist theory , the lumpenproletariat are the lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat—especially criminals, vagrants and the unemployed—people who lack the class consciousness to participate in the anti-colonial revolution. Fanon applies the term lumpenproletariat to the colonial subjects who are not involved in industrial production, especially the peasantry , because, unlike the urban proletariat the working class , the lumpenproletariat have sufficient intellectual independence from the dominant ideology of the colonial ruling class, readily to grasp that they can revolt against the colonial status quo and so decolonize their nation. One of the essays included in The Wretched of the Earth is "On National Culture", in which Fanon highlights the necessity for each generation to discover its mission and to fight for it. The first section is entitled "On Violence".