GGR208H5 Study Guide - Final Guide: High Tech, Consumerism, Inferiority Complex

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Published on 12 Mar 2014
“Between the Colonizer and the Colonized” (1955)
In “Between the Colonizer and the Colonized” Césaire stresses that the imperialism of European societies
have been the cause and reason behind the abusive and destructive relationship amidst the white
European colonizer (who is the subject) and the colonized (who is the inferior native that is treated like the
object) that is predominantly created through the exploitation and dehumanization of the native culture.
According to Cesaire, Europeans dehumanize the colonized by degrading the native culture to the status
of things (as he describes it, colonization is a process of “Thingification”) where the colonized are
objectified and reduced to mere instruments of production through forced labour by the colonizer.
While Cesaire affirms that the exploitation of the native culture occurs though the “looting of products/raw
materials” (Cesaire, 1955)(basically through the exploitation of resources in the native area), he states
that the exploitation is also rooted through radicalization and inferiority “Millions of men in whom fear has
been cunningly instilled, who have been taught to have an inferiority complex” (Cesaire, 1955). As stated,
Cesaire believes that the demise and eradication of some indigenous cultures is attributed to European
racism, primarily racism against blacks in Africa and the Caribbean.
“Decolonizing, National Culture, and the Negro Intellectual” (1961)
In “Decolonizing, National Culture, and the Negro Intellectual” Fanon focuses on the de-colonialization of
Africa from Europe where he stresses that the process is always violent (attributed to revolts/revolutions
or liberation wars). Even after there is de-colonialization there are two worlds remaining – the post
colonial world that has been newly freed and the white world.
“Black Skin, White Masks” (1952)
In “Black Skin, White Masks” Fanon highlights how blacks live in a white world and henceforth lose and
abandon the habits, language, speech and behavior associated with their original culture and embrace
the habits, language, speech and behavior of the adoptive culture. Contrarily, the original culture (original
culture of the black colonized people i.e. Martinique) becomes the foreign culture and the once foreign
culture becomes the adoptive culture (which is of the white European colonizers i.e. France). Fanon’s
predominant claim is that Blacks living amongst whites (i.e. France – nation of the colonizers) become
whiter because they live in a white world where they adopt the normative behaviors of the colonizers
where “The Black man who has lived in France for a length of time returns radically changed” (Fanon,
1952). Essentially, through the actions of blacks renouncing their blackness and embracing whiteness
they attempt to assert status amongst whites where the blacks become just as educated and eloquent as
whites “The one who expresses himself well, who has mastered the language, is ordinatley feared; keep
an eye on that one, he is almost white” (Fanon, 1952).
“The Power of Non-Violent Action”
King cites inspiration from Gandhi’s emphasis of love and non-violence as well as Niebuhr, who believed
that non-violence, would only be successful if the group against who the resistance was taking place has
a moral conscience.
King saw violence as impractical and immoral because according to him, violence humiliated the
opposition instead of winning their understanding. Essentially violence destroys rather than converts the
In order for blacks to integrate, they must create a non-violent resistance where whites would not be
intimidated and otherwise scared of a violent retaliation against all the wrongs committed “a
demonstration to the white community that if such a movement attained a degree of strength, it would use
its power creatively and not vengefully”
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