In The Souls of Black Folk W.E.B.DuBois Introduces the Concept of "Double Consciousness"
After the Egyptian and the Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with a second-sight in this American world--a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903
Many people of color are denied what DuBois calls a true "self-consciousness" because the white society looks at them and their traditions with contempt. …
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