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. 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 in vastly different countries, with divergent class structures, strategies, and paths to seizing state power. The forum seeks to draw on the reservoir of Fanonian scholarship and the revolutionary experience of diverse organizations that have applied Fanon's theories to the concrete circumstances of their countries.
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.
Phase 2 of the project would begin in April 2021 to align the Fanonian system with core doctrines outlined in the January 2020 Statement of Principles adopted by New Black Nationalists. This process would also include a process to update Fanon's concepts that are incomplete or no longer correspond to today's objective conditions. We must also identify the gaps in Fanon's works that need to be augmented 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 of creating an independent Black republic.
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, post-colonial discourse historians, post-modernist academics, and some feminists critics have dismissed Fanon as the fanatical exponent of revolutionary violence. Others have relegated him to the ranks of a mystical prophet of Black Nirvana. But 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 the neo-colonial order. 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, 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 many for their narrow political objectives and ephemeral advantage.
In addition to weighing the totality of Fanon’s views as a coherent and integrated philosophical 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 critically review are the following:
• Psychoanalysis of the effects of race and racism under colonialism
•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
This tentative list of subjects to conduct a full reading of Fanon’s works poses a somewhat daunting challenge. Fanon is not an easy read, and the difficulty of this heady enterprise is not to be underestimated.
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 are by no means exhaustive, clearly demonstrate the potential for Fanonism to evolve as a comprehensive philosophical system.
We welcome all all interested participants to join us in this historic effort to collectively reread Fanon. He was the "revolutionary extraordinaire" who was was taken from us at the age of thirty-six. Fanon's free spirit, high ethics, unselfish devotion to the emancipatory cause of revolution and his rigorous intellectual works are worthy of industry to deepen and elevate his contributions to the Black diaspora and the Global South.