Fanon as “Metrocolonial” Flaneur in the Caribbean Post-Plantation/Algerian Colonial City

  • Nalini Natarajan
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


This essay investigates conceptualizations of race, gender, and consciousness that came into play with the abolition of slavery and post-plantation urban development. Through a reading of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1967) and The Wretched of the Earth (1963), I consider his discussion of urban space as symptomatic of the ideological dialogue between two streams in critical theory, post-slavery and postcolonial studies. By reading Fanon’s texts with reference to the specific city spaces he observes—Fort de France, Martinique in Black Skin, White Masks and Algiers, Algeria in The Wretched of the Earth—we can enter into a fruitful discussion of how the coexistence of class, gender, and race in Fanon’s urban spaces compares with the rest of the Caribbean and other parts of the French Empire. While Fanon theorizes the Algerian colonial city as a space that encompasses Arab peasant and middle classes—homogenized in his discourse to the single term, “native,” that segregates and distinguishes him from the French settler—in the Martinican case, he focuses only on the “native” Creole urban middle classes. He ignores the urban poor, despite the fact that living spaces occupied by slaves and ex-slaves in many Caribbean cities were thoroughly mixed with those of the colonizing and Creole residents (Higman, 96–97).


Urban Space European City Urban Slum Black Skin Postcolonial Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond 2005

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  • Nalini Natarajan

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