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The physician-philosopher Frantz Fanon diagnosed the colonial and racist roots of ill health and jumped scale to analyze the structural underpinnings of mental illness engendered by colonialism. Connecting Fanon as physician and philosopher of language, the chapter locates him as the prophet-in-waiting of the field of “doctor-patient interaction” studies. His trenchant, angry, and ironic critique of how colonial physicians speak to their patients holds the key to analyzing pedagogies that currently promise to teach providers how to be better communicators. Even as his focus is on highly racialized and denigrating examples, Fanon opened up the possibility of taking a broader approach in analyzing how caregivers more generally can render patients incommunicable. Fanon also pinpointed how translation can impede clinical interactions and how denigrating images of Blackness in media texts prefigure the violence sparked by anti-Black racism.

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