Shatara D. Oliver
Professor Margaret Konkol
12 September 2016
Week Three: Du Bois
The idea of double consciousness by W.E.B. DuBois focused not only on race and identity but two major themes which are: romanticism and transcendentalism. W.E.B. DuBois felt that double consciousness could be described internally within one’s self. For example, with me being an African American young woman, the question DuBois rises is what is African? What is American? Another perspective could be a problem with individuals who has a transcendentalism idea in a world that relies only on self and science. Another idea is that blacks and whites are different from each other, however, in mutual understanding. This is due to stereotypes, expectations, and cultures that reveal the idea of double consciousness. Both of them have a significance to American society, and both have an obligation to their races.
The idea of double consciousness is broken down into two things. African Americans are not complete because of their doubleness, which is covered by the veil. With two communities that have different values, goals, and expectations; individuals have a duty owed to their community. This leads to the veil being a fundamental figure in American society. The veil is written for all races; however, can be defined as a color line that divides and separates which is still relevant in today’s society. The veil also contributes to the idea that people are divided because of miscommunication. The veil also organizes information that is “limiting the others in ways that affect in the deepest what they think of themselves”. This is found to be true because the veil is a line that is divided in societies so people are not affected.
W.E.B. DuBois idea of Double Consciousness is very important in today’s society and education and it is also still relevant. There is still a big issue in today’s society and that is racism which is hidden under the veil. Which I stated before the veil is divided and so is our society as a whole. Racism is not inherited it is taught. In an example that DuBois gave is that children play with each other regardless of if they are black, white, blue, or gray; which concludes that racism is taught. Double Consciousness questions the form of identity and how we define ourselves as individuals. Many individuals do not know who they are what they stand for. W.E.B. Dubois makes a point of this in many of the articles that he has published. He makes a statement that the state of double consciousness is not only to African American’s but to everyone in society to try to understand where they come from and to also understand the mind of how people think of themselves and about the history that the obtain it. W.E.B. DuBois uses imagery, romanticism, binaries, and the idea of transcendentalism in his works that highlight his central messages. He also uses metaphors in his poetry to help better understand the interpretation of his work.
Shatara D. Oliver