Black Skin, White Masks


Frantz Fanon

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Black Skin, White Masks can help.


The Antilles is a group of islands in the Caribbean that includes Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. However, Fanon’s usage of the term refers specifically to the French Antilles, which are… read analysis of Antilles/Antillean


Narcissism is a psychological condition wherein the sufferer’s egotistical and self-obsessive qualities are so extreme that they are considered pathological. The term can be used to describe many different types of behavior, but Fanon discusses… read analysis of Narcissism


Pidgin languages are simplified, hybrid languages designed to allow speakers of two different languages to communicate with one another. In colonial contexts, pidgin is often used by colonizers to communicate with native people. read analysis of Pidgin


The agrégation is a French civil service examination, which is part of the higher education system in France. It is highly competitive: only the very best students in France take it, and only a portion… read analysis of Agrégation

Id, Ego, Superego

The terms “id,” “ego,” and “superego” were invented by Sigmund Freud to describe what he understood to be the structure of the psyche. The “id” refers to a person’s primal impulses and instincts, the “superego”… read analysis of Id, Ego, Superego
Get the entire Black Skin, White Masks LitChart as a printable PDF.
Black Skin, White Masks PDF


A neurosis is a mental disorder that is mild enough not to be considered a form of illness or psychosis. Psychoanalysts believe that neuroses are the result of childhood traumas which people repress in order… read analysis of Neurosis


Alienation refers to the condition of being estranged from oneself and one’s surroundings. Its meaning varies in the Marxist and psychoanalytic traditions, but Fanon uses it to describe the ways in which black people are… read analysis of Alienation


Négritude is an artistic and political movement founded by Aimé Césaire. Négritude writers embrace blackness as a single, global, diasporic identity (rather than aligning themselves with a particular ethnic or national black identity). They… read analysis of Négritude


Catharsis is a concept that comes from Ancient Greek tragedy, and originally meant “cleansing.” In psychoanalysis it refers to the release of negative psychic energy, a process which allows people to resolve their unconscious conflicts… read analysis of Catharsis

Oedipus Complex

The Oedipus complex is an important psychoanalytic theory created by Sigmund Freud to describe people’s repressed desire for their opposite-sex parent, which in turn leads to conflict with their same-sex parent. It is inspired by… read analysis of Oedipus Complex