A week ago, as those of you who follow my Twittter feed may remember, the College of The Bahamas hosted a one-day symposium in honour of Frantz Fanon, the Martinican psychiatrist whose field of study was the psyche of the colonized. Now Fanon's books were on my parents' bookshelves long before I realized their significance; I particularly remember a tattered (and ttherefore well-read) copy of Black Skin, White Masks hanging around. But I didn't read Fanon until my university days. But when I got hold of The Wretched of the Earth I didn't put it down. Its words, then 25 years after they were written, rang so true I couldn't. How much more true they seem now for me, sitting in my so-called independent postcolonial country, feeling called upon to justify the value, nearly forty years after we got the political trappings of statehood, of a single university.The justification, if, absurdly, one must make it, is something for another day. Today I am thinking about the value of democracy, of statehood, of the wretchedness of postcolonialism. I'm thinking, too, as much as Fanon's words and ideas have stayed with me, having seeped into my subconscious and shaped my worldview from my twenties until now, that it's a good time to go back and reread them. To do so will solve all mysteries. They will go some way to explain why our society has become so violent so quickly; they will help us to understand the fundamental absurdities of our public institutions -- why, for instance, the taxpayers almost never get back from their government what they put in, why the humanity and the spirit of the Bahamian citizen is never nurtured by public institutions, why to find the funding (which has been given, often by private Bahamian donors, for this very purpose) to conduct research through the College of The Bahamas into areas which could help us at least understand what is happening in our society is so extraordinarily difficult. Why it took so long, for instance, for the funding to be released for the Fanon Symposium itself, even after it had been approved and some of those funds had been independently solicited. Why institutions that have been established ostensibly to serve the Bahamian public are allowed to operate in disrepair, even though the Bahamian public pays to use them -- the joke of the so-called National Centre for the Performing Arts comes to mind, whose roof has been leaking since Frances and Jeanne but for which no line item to effect repairs explicitly on it. Why we waste 2 million dollars a year putting on Junkanoo parades but invest nothing whatsoever in the preservation of costumes, the official transfer of skills from elders to youth, the teaching of Junkanoo history, or anything else that can take root and grow. Why we think that a white skin and a northern accent are qualifications in themselves, but dredge up spurious personal experiences to block the advancement of a Bahamian whose qualifications, experience and understanding of our nation are superior. These are pathologies, and Fanon, the Martinican psychiatrist, has named them and prescribed their treatment. We would do well to (re)read his works, fifty years on.