W. E. B. Dubois Double Consciousness

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Double consciousness is a theory first mentioned by W.E.B. Du Bois in his book “The Souls of Black Folk” which primarily focuses on the idea of double consciousness and analysis of “Black folk” in America during Jim Crow laws. Double consciousness was the theory of “a source of inward “twoness” putatively experienced by African-Americans because of their racialized oppression and disvaluation in a white-dominated society.”(Pittman). Jim Crow laws--legalized segregation--kept African Americans from expressing their identity as Americans proudly when they were treated lesser than their white counterparts. In double consciousness many African Americans could not be able to choose one identity but rather a split of identities. African Americans…show more content…
Du Bois wrote “The Souls of Black Folk” to shed some light on some racial issues that was an impediment to the growth of African American prevalence in a white-dominated society. At the time of its publication news articles condemned the book because it put “thoughts” that should not be in an African American’s mind. As Bruce Jr. D. Dickinson wrote in “W.E.B. Du Bois and the Idea of Double Consciousness”,
Du Bois’s use of the idea of double consciousness to characterize issues of race was provocative and unanticipated; however, as has only occasionally been noted and never really pursued, the term itself has had a long history by the time Du Bois published his essay in 1897
W.E.B. Du Bois delved into the thought of killing the “double” and living in a harmonious society where identity is not focused upon. After the essay was published W.E.B Du Bois spoke on the social standings of blacks “In 1899, W.E.B. DuBois described the residential distribution and social standing of the black business-owning class in Philadelphia’s seventh ward.”(Bambrick). Even though in the late 1800’s when the book was published a harmonious society could not have been achieved due to a majority of white citizens having some sort of prejudice against colored
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Du Bois writes in the first chapter of his book “The Souls of Black Folk” on how he is treated as a problem and not even as any other person which seems to create a rift somewhat on him relating to these white people. “BETWEEN me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it.”(Du Bois). Du Bois speaks of an “other world” which is just the place where he seems to be when white Americans speak to him in such a manner where it demeans him and seems as if he is in just another world. Later on he even speaks on how he sees himself in others eyes because he cannot identify as that one identity which gave him insight on how he is perceived by others. It also seems as though the men and women who judge have a very parochial view on race because they don’t seem to have any qualms on how they approach it. Du Bois’s struggle to find out why he has been an “outcast” in his own house angers him and he even questions
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