In “The Negro and Language”, Frantz Fanon discussed the idea of cultural alienation for black people in France. Fanon analyzed the reasoning behind the fact that “a Negro behaves different with a white man and with another Negro”. The reason, he stated, is that black people often experience inferiority complex, which is a direct consequence from centuries of physical and cultural colonization. Therefore, Africans would judge each other based on how far they are culturally from the dominant white culture. The closer he/she is to the white people, the more”civilized” he/she is, and vice versa. Towards the end of the paper, Fanon admitted he himself suffered the very issue he was writing about and he proposed that the best solution is to be confident. This topic is particularly interesting to me because it is highly relatable to my experience. As a student from China, I grew up in a different culture and spoke an entirely different language as my American friends. Sometimes I find it very difficult to balance my “Americaness” and “Chineseness”. This paper provided me with some advice on how to balance different cultures in me and taught me to be more understanding to people of minority cultures when I am part of the majority culture in the future.
3 authors on my panel: Fanon, Maalouf, and Spivak
Question 1: As the world becomes more cosmopolitan, how should immigrants adjust themselves culturally when they move to a new place?
Question 2: What can people of the dominant culture do to help being more inclusive?
Question 3: Do immigrants(first generations and second generations mainly) have the obligation to “convert” to the new culture?