The history, influence and impact of colonialism are often not fully understood or appreciated by the lay person. For the most part, arguments, especially around development, very often do not take into consideration the historical roots of disempowerment, disenfranchisement, and disinterest in political life. The history of colonialism though is not an old one. There are many people on this planet that to this day remember being ruled by a foreign power. The roots of colonialism have lingered even if the trunk between colonial country and colonized country has been severed. This roots have unfortunately destabalized a lot of countries that to this day still suffer with the ramifications of the colonial past.

There have been many who have written about colonialism and the colonial legacy. One of the most often quoted of these writers is Franz Fanon. One of his most famous works, The Wretched of the Earth captures his thoughts on colonialism and the future of former colonies during the sweeping independence movements at the end of WWII.

While his work is extensive and dense, a reading through the preface and forward of his work is certainly a good place to start. An original preface was written by Jean-Paul Sartre with a forward written by Homi Bhabha in later republications. I much prefer Bhabha’s forward as it is less filled with the typical rhetoric of Sartre. Here are Bhabha’s thoughts including my annotations. 

FANON – The Wretched of the Earth H. Bhabha (AF)

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Alim Fakirani