Home » Rebellious Lawyering and Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961)

Rebellious Lawyering and Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961)


Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1961) has received favored book status from the Rebellious Lawyering “Race” Conference 2014 survey participants.

Excerpts from The Wretched of the Earth:

“The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.”

“Get this into your head: if violence were only a thing of the future, if exploitation and oppression never existed on earth, perhaps displays of nonviolence might relieve the conflict. But if the entire regime, even your nonviolent thoughts, is governed by a thousand-year old oppression, your passiveness serves no other purpose but to put you on the side of the oppressors.”

“The native must realize that colonialism never gives anything away for nothing.”

“The passion with which native intellectuals defend the existence of their national culture may be a source of amazement; but those who condemn this exaggerated passion are strangely apt to forget that their own psyche and their own selves are conveniently sheltered behind a French or German culture which has given full proof of its existence and which is uncontested.”

“In the capitalist countries a multitude of moral teachers, counselors and ‘bewilderers’ separate the exploited and those in power. In the colonial countries, on the contrary, the policeman and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action, maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge.”


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