Double Consciousness Dubois

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William Edward Burghardt Du Bois made a great contribution to the study of sociology by defining race and emphasising its historical location through some of his key concepts such as double consciousness and providing various examples round the idea of race. He was born on 23 February 1868 (Ritzer, 2008) three years after the abolishment of slavery in the United States of America and wrote famous literary pieces such as The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1920) (Ritzer, 2008). He was also a political activist (Lemert, 2010) and explored post-emancipation life. (Lemert, 2010) He formed the Niagara Movement of 1905 and became crucial to interracial organisations such as the…show more content…
He became double-conscientious after being rejected in part of his childhood. This is true for many Negroes in America who considered themselves as problems. Double consciousness is viewing oneself from a different perspective particularly, others’ perspectives. (Bois, 2005 [1903]) African Americans developed multiple identities for the different social situations. It is suggested that Negroes had struggled to deliver their message to the world because they didn’t want to overemphasise Africanism in America while simultaneously preserving their African identities, in order to form their own message based on their history. (Bois, 2005 [1903]) But, much of their identity was pressurised by feeling the need to assimilate and conform to religious structures and certain standards in the Anglo-Saxon (Solomos, 2005) society to which they belonged. (Bois, 2005…show more content…
The common connotation associated with a veil is associated with marriage where a thin white material placed over a bride’s face and is see through enough to view a surrounding environment. The people externally have a lack of vision through this veil. Negroes wore this veil psychologically but it was also a physical and literal symbol. Physically, it represented external differences of skin colour. Literally it was a barrier where African Americans felt they could never truly be comfortable and express themselves.
Additionally, white Americans also had a veil where they found difficulty in seeing blacks as whole Americans. They believed themselves to be superior in all facets of society such as predominance in belief systems and history. They viewed other races as inferior and dehumanised them. (Bois, 2005 [1920]) Whites had a sense of privilege because of the injustices they created such as colonialism and the exploitation of other races for their own power (Bois, 2005
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