Black Skin, White Masks
"In every country in the world there are social climbers, those who think they’ve arrived. And opposite them there are those who keep the notion of their origins. The Antillean returning from the métropole speaks in Creole if he wants to signify that nothing has changed."
"When he is approached, the white man accepts therefore to give him his sister on one condition: You have nothing in common with a real Negro. You are not black; you are "very, very dark."
"The problem of colonization, therefore, comprises not only the intersection of historical and objective conditions but also man’s attitude toward these conditions."
"All forms of exploitation are alike. They all seek to justify their existence by citing some biblical decree. All forms of exploitation are identical, since they apply to the same "object": man. By considering the structure of such and such an exploitation from an abstract point of view we are closing our eyes to the fundamentally important problem of restoring man to his rightful place."
"Their metaphysics, or less pretentiously their customs and the agencies to which they refer, were abolished because they were in contradiction with a new civilization that imposed its own."
"The Antillean, then, has to choose between his family and European society; in other words, the individual who climbs up into white, civilized society tends to reject his black, uncivilized family at the level of the imagination, in keeping with the childhood Erlebnis we described earlier."
"I am a black man—but naturally I don’t know it, because I am one. At home my mother sings me, in French, French love songs where there is never a mention of black people. Whenever I am naughty or when I make too much noise, I am told to "stop acting like a nigger."
"There is no black mission; there is no white burden."
"There should be no attempt to fixate man, since it is his destiny to be unleashed.
The density of History determines none of my acts.
I am my own foundation."