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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchThe black soul is (still) a white man’s artefact? Postcoloniality, post-Fanonism and...

The black soul is (still) a white man’s artefact? Postcoloniality, post-Fanonism and the tenacity of race(ism) in A. Igoni Barrett’s Blackass

Author: Sakiru Adebay

Affiliation: University of Witwaterstand

Organization/Publisher: Journal, African Studies

Date/Place: December 6, 2019, Africa

Type of Literature: Article

Number of Pages:   18       


Keywords: Fanon, Barrett, Blackass, Colonialism, Colonial Racism, Postcolonialism, Whiteness


Sakiru Adebayo draws attention to the fact that racism is still possible in a place like Africa, by refering to A. Igoni Barrett’s novel Blackass: a Black man from Nigeria becomes White overnight and gets the chance to enjoy the privileges of being White. He states that the colonized society “seems to only find cohesion” in the presence of the colonizers. Products of the “White West” are flooding the markets of the “Third World” and continuously force these countries to be heavily dependent on White capital. As the author puts it, the neo-colonial and neo-liberal reconstruction of race has not terminated forms of slavery and colonialism – the legacy of colonial racism is still expressed and handed-off. The author tries to find an explanation why Whiteness is still perceived as a privilege in the Africa of postcolonial times by referring to Fanon who states that “shipwrecked Europeans were welcomed with open arms” mainly because “there exists something that makes the White man the awaited master.” The author states that the novel Blackass is a reminder that “the postcolony is not yet post-racial.” Finally, he suggests that Black persons should always walk the “path of self-awareness” to free themselves from the binding oppression of the colonizer and stop their obsession to imitate Europe, European standards, European technology, etc. in order to free their mind from being further colonized. 

By: Dilek Yücel-Kamadan, CIGA Research Associate



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