Martinique islander by birth and a psychiatrist by training, Franz Fanon is better known as a pan-African revolutionary ideologue. His treatises on colonialism call for revolutionary confrontation with malignant colonial regimes, where necessary on the battlefield, and, more important, for the eradication of the most invidious form of colonialism, namely, colonial mentality. Fanon holds that this mentality prevents the African and the black person everywhere even from being aware of the seriousness of the social and personal deprivations of his or her colonized status. Fanon found his voice when he worked for the Algerian revolutionaries during the Algerian War of Independence against the French. Not only did he become deeply involved in the Algerian struggle, he also emerged as its principal ideologue and formulated his anticolonial writings from the Algerian experience.
Maryse Condwas born in Guadeloupe, a French territory of the Caribbean. She has taught extensively in Africa and the United States and is now a professor emerita at Columbia University, where she created the Center for French and Francophone Studies. She has written over twenty novels includingSegu, Windward Heights, The Story of the Cannibal Woman,andWho Slashed Celamire's Throat?and now divides her time between New York and Paris.Richard Philcox has published new translations of Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin White Masks.