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Student activism in Africa

The extraordinary student movement that has been rippling across South Africa raises the question of student agency in movements for social change. What role have students on the continent played in empowering protest movements? Have students been successful in touching off wider protests in society? In 2007 I published a book Revolt and Protest: Student […]

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Frantz Fanon – Death

Fanon returned exhausted from the successful mission into Southern Algeria in late 1960. But his exhaustion could not be slept off, something else was wrong. He requested a blood test which immediately revealed a high white blood count. Leukaemia was the diagnosis and in 1960 it was a death sentence. Fanon, the loud-hailer of the […]

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Frantz Fanon – Part 6

As we have seen Ghana in the late 1950s was a place of exciting meetings and possibilities. Accra was both host to pan-African conferences and a HQ for nationalist leaders and parties. Fanon loved it. He met other men – sadly mostly men – as driven and possessed as himself. Fanon did not like people […]

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Frantz Fanon – Part 5

In 1959 Fanon plunged himself deeper into the work of the FLN, eventually taking a break from his psychiatric work at the end of the year to concentrate on his new position as ambassador to Africa for the Gouvernement provisoire de la République algérienne (GPRA) based in Ghana. The year of his appointment he wrote […]

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Frantz Fanon – Part 4

After leaving Algeria in 1957 Fanon and his wife Josie move to Tunisia. Tunis had recently become one of the bases for the FLN outside Algeria as militants and cadres were forced to flee the country with the defeat of the Battle of Algiers. Increasingly Fanon was absorbed in his work for the FLN and […]

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Frantz Fanon – Part 3

In 1953 Fanon moved to Algeria to work in the small town of Blida, about 50 miles from the capital Algiers. He applied for a position as a psychiatrist, having recently qualified. Fanon did not leave France for Algeria because he predicted the future publishing success of The Wretched of the Earth, or that a […]

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Frantz Fanon – Part 2

Fanon is not easily wielded. At the end of his first book, Black Skin, White Masks, he issues a warning, ‘There is no Negro mission; there is no white burden. I find myself suddenly in a world …in which I am summoned into battle. ..There is no white world; there is no white ethic, anymore […]

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Frantz Fanon – Part 1

Ahead of the publication of my biography on Frantz Fanon, The Militant Philosopher of Third World Liberation, I thought I would publish a few teasers on certain aspects of Fanon’s extraordinary life and work. Part 1. Fanon’s contribution ‘…For Fanon it was not enough to celebrate the achievements of decolonization, it was necessary to educate, […]

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