|The revolutionary philosopher, Frantz Fanon, has appealed to the African Americans since the 1960s with his emphasis on racial issues during their pursuit of liberation from colonization and Third World conditions. Most notably, Fanon’s advocacy of violence in the revolutionary process of decolonization has inspired black radicals and bolstered the inevitable use of violence in their fight against white America. Lorraine Hansberry was aware of the limits of non-violent resistance in the Civil Rights Movement led by the black middle class: her play, Les Blancs, supports the use of violence by connecting the historical realities in Africa of the late 1950s and early 1960s with those of her contemporary African Americans.
Les Blancs successfully explores Fanonian themes of racial conflicts, exploitation of the oppressed, and pro-violence liberation movements that occur as a result of ensuing interpersonal (i.e., intraracial and interracial) and intrapersonal conflict. These turbulent confrontations and conflicts, whether external or internal, manifest in the play’s protagonist, Tshembe Matoseh, and his tribesmen in their struggle to liberate their people from the oppressive whites. Hansberry juxtaposes the position of her characters to demarcate the binaries of “white” versus “black” and “good” versus “evil.” Although the protagonist eventually uses violence to sever all ties with his colonial past in his tribe’s uprising against the colonialists, his character is presented in the inceptive stages of true revolutionary violence.