Decolonizing The Euro-American Public Education System: A Transgressive Revisiting of Fanon


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Frantz Fanon the psychiatrist is long gone but Fanonism lives on. A postmodern century is witnessing the resurgence of interest in Fanonian theory as a model with which to understand and explain the socio-economic, political, and cultural upheavals plaguing humankind. The analytic appeal of Fanonism derives from its power to diagnose and remediate social ills and, more importantly, to engender ‘true’ social transformation. Frantz Fanon is outstanding among anti-colonialism theorists and activists because he offered an illuminating diagnosis of colonialism/ colonization and proposed its counterforce – decolonization. In this paper I aim to use the analytic framework bequeathed to us by Fanon to diagnose the North American public education system as a colonizing industry and to call for its transformation. It is appropriate to note that Fanon did not offer just a critique of colonialism but found it unacceptable (a social disease) and called for its disappearance and replacement. In a similar vein, I do not aim merely to critique the Euro-American public school system but to diagnose it and call for its transformation. I use the term ‘transformation’ to signal that I will not be calling for ‘reform’ as usual. My work revisits Fanon to illuminate three questions: how colonizing is the current Euro-American public education system? What actions need to be taken and who should take such actions to bring about a transformation of the system? And what does a decolonized education system look like?

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