Today, New Black Nationalists announced the launch of the Frantz Fanon Forum. The forum is an open participation critical reading of Fanon works that convenes on November 1, 2020, and we welcome your participation.
The forum’s purpose is to solicit broad input to determine if the corpus of Fanon’s theories (Fanonism) can serve as the guiding ideology of our strain of New Black Nationalism in America's settler state.
From the Black Panther Party in the 1960's, to the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa today, Fanon's constructs have been applied to vastly different countries, with divergent class structures, strategies, and paths to seizing state power. The forum seeks to draw on the reservoir Fanonian scholarship and the revolutionary experience of diverse organization that have applied Fanonian thought to their praxis.
The Fanon Forum envisions a process that is divided in two phases. The first phase assesses whether the body of Fanon's theories form a coherent ontological, political, and philosophical system of ideas.
Should consensus emerge that Fanonism constitutes the spectrum of an ideology, Phase 2 of the project would begin in April 2021. The second phase contemplates aligning the core of Fanon's doctrines with the January 2020 Statement of Principles adopted by New Black Nationalists.
Phase 2, would begin a winnowing process to determining the core of Fanon's theories remain relevant today. By identifying Fanon's concepts that are incomplete or require updating, and those areas Fanon never addressed, New Black Nationalist can map the gaps that need to augment and filled to expand Fanonism into a more complete ideological system.
The synthesis emerging out this process would constitute the Fanonist ideology of New Black Nationalists applied to the conditions of America's settler state, and our goal to create an independent Black nation-state.
From the 1952 publication of “Black Skin, White Masks” to “The Wretched of the Earth,” dictated on his death bed in 1961, Fanon remains the authoritative voice of the broad church of Decolonial Theory. His vision of the emerging post-colonial countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia that comprised the Third World was larger than simply toppling Western imperialists and neo-colonialist rule. Fanon exhorted this new global revolutionary force not to imitate Europe, but turn their backs on Europe's failed Enlightenment project and begin “a new history of man.”
Since Fanon’s death sixty years ago, colonial discourse historians, postmodernists, academicians, and revolutionaries have debated his controversial constructs. Dismissed as a unbridled exponent of revolutionary violence by some, and hailed as the prophet of Black Nirvana by others, Fanon returns to us time and again.
Fanon cast a long shadow across Global South, because the past sixty years is littered with the scattered remains of aborted revolutions his writings foreshadowed, particularly in Wretched of the Earth.
Fanon’s grammar depicting how gratuitous violence visited on Black flesh to induce terror, submission, and the psychodynamics of marginality and “Otherness,” bespeak the profound role race, racism and anti-Black violence continue to play in the post-modern world of globalization.
The explosion of 27 million Black-led protesters taking the streets across the globe following George Floyd’s police execution in May 2020, is stunning testimony to the candle watt power of
Fanon’s prescient analysis of colonialism. Fanonism captures to the urgency of the moment.
In determining if Fanonism vibrates to the liberation cosmos of 43 million Black people in America’s settler state and New Black Nationalists principles, this forum will not cherry pick those aspects of Fanon’s theories that comport with our political inclinations. Fanon has been invoked in the service of their narrow passions and political objectives.
In addition to weighing the totality of Fanon’s views as a coherent and integrated ideological system, the forum will explore Fanon’s methodology and approach to formulating analysis which deviated substantially from the orthodoxies of the day.
Among the major components of Fanon’s body of work we seek to critical review are the following:
•Psychoanalysis of the effects of race and racism under colonialization •Theory of being and Black identity, Negritude, and Hegelian dialectics •Theory on the role of violence in national liberation movements •Role of women in the revolutionary struggle •Critique of Marxism •Theory of reliance on the peasantry as the principle revolutionary force •Standpoint analysis of the “lived experience” •Advocacy of new humanism •Philosophy on nationalism
If this tentative list of subjects to conduct a full reading of Fanon’s works appears to be somewhat daunting, it's because it is. Fanon is not an easy read: it’s a difficult and heady enterprise. The challenge in critically reading Fanon lies in his exceptional intellectual field of interests. As a soldier, clinical psychiatrist, philosopher, activist, diplomat, and leader in Algeria’s National Liberation Front that won independence from France, Fanon's lived experience stretches across three continents, and the most turbulent period of history in the twentieth century.
New Black Nationalists believe the issues outlined here, which is by no means exhaustive, clearly demonstrate the potential for Fanonism to evolve as a comprehensive ideological system. We are excited about the hard work and theoretical challenges.
Join us in this historic enterprise to reread Fanon. He was the "revolutionary extraordinaire" who was was taken from us at the age of thirty-six. Fanon's spirit, high ethics, and intellectual works are worthy of this effort to deepen and elevate his contributions to the Black diaspora and the Global South.