What Does Du Bois Mean By Double Consciousness Of African Americans?

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1. What does Du Bois mean by the “double consciousness” of African Americans? What Du Bois meant by the “double consciousness” of African Americans is that they look at themselves through the eyes of others. “This double consciousness, this sense of always looking at oneself through the eyes of others, of measuring one soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” African Americans know that the rest of America see them as a lowly and controversial group of people because they were once viewed as a piece of property and not a human being. Now that they are freedmen, America doesn’t know what to think about them. Du Bois says that African Americans have two souls: American and Negro. They battle between these two souls and their feelings and thoughts. They feel if they were to claim the American soul that it will “bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism” If they were to only claim the Negro soul, they feel that they aren’t Negro/African enough because they are more familiar with American culture and not familiar enough with the latter.…show more content…
They want to embrace both identities without suppressing the expression of one another. They want to be able to embrace both their American identity and African identity. However, African Americans feel as if they aren’t American because America treats them as unwanted foreigners. African Americans get the feeling that they aren’t American and are just long time visitors. “He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face” African Americans then and now still have to face discrimination based on their ethnicity. Their accomplishments and characteristics aren’t valued or appreciated by others. Instead, other Americans believe and apply stereotypes upon African
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