The Struggle for Independence in Africa


In one of his important books entitled The Wretched of the Earth, originally published in 1961, Frantz Fanon (2004, p. 3) argues that “In its bare reality, decolonization reeks of red-hot cannonballs and bloody knives. For the last can be the first only after a murderous and decisive confrontation between the two protagonists (colonizer and colonized). This determination to have the last move up to the front, to have them clamber up (too quickly, say some) the famous echelons of an organized society, can only succeed by resorting to every means, including, of course, violence…The colonized, who have made up their mind to make such an agenda into a driving force, have been prepared for violence from time immemorial. As soon as they are born, it is obvious to them that their cramped world…can only be challenged by out and out violence.” In countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Algeria, Angola, Namibia and Kenya, African people fought anti-colonial wars to free themselves and achieve their independence from colonial rule. Using Fanon’s argument in The Wretched of the Earth from page 1-62, discuss the role and place of revolutionary violence in continental African liberation struggles. Would you say that Africans were justified to make recourse to violence in their quest for freedom? In making your argument, take into consideration the various ways in which colonialism resisted African nationalist demands for freedom through repressive laws and violence of its own. The reading is attached.