The Veil In Du Bois's The Souls Of Black Folk

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In the book “The Souls of Black Folk”, Du Bois uses essays to vividly explain the upbringing of the Negroes livelihood before and after the Emancipation Proclamation, the slow rise of personal leadership, and lastly the two worlds within and without the veil and how it has become a problem of training men for life. In the forethought, Du Bois introduces the image of the veil and shows the importance of that single statement, which holds a strong meaning throughout the entire book. In this essay, I will identify the author’s true purpose in the meaning and reference of “the veil” as well as “double consciousness”. During the years following emancipation, black people could choose to live “behind the veil,” viewing their newfound freedom as a blessing, or they could live…show more content…
The veil can be compared to “rose-colored glasses” that provide optimism for black people who choose not to see their oppression. Yet at the same time, it harms them by encouraging black people to ignore the circumstances in which they live. Double consciousness is the belief that the African American in the United States lives with two conflicting identities that cannot be entirely merged together. The first conflicting identity is the black identity and it is the most important to the black experience. This is something that every black person has and no other race can identify with. The second conflicting identity is the American identity, which is only alive because of the circumstances of slavery. This is how black people are able to understand what life is like for people that are within and outside of their group. However, white people could never understand the black experience. Du Bois mentioned, “The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card,---refused it peremptorily, with a glance…”. At that very moment, he realized that he was not accepted naturally by the outside race. He was fine with having a different perspective and he did not
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