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Double Cousiousness Essay

575 words - 3 pages

Lovenia Chead
Chattel Slavery; Douglas pointed out that He experienced the cruelty of slavery when his own aunt was being beaten mercilessly and wonders if he will be next. As an adult he writes that he realizes that this was one of the first times he really became aware that he was enslaved and what the horrors of that position entailed. He saw the injustice and the cruelty and was forever scarred. His world-view grew at that moment as he became aware of what outrages could be perpetrated against an innocent slave. Douglas narrative as a whole, records serval brutality of slavery. Douglass's aunt was not the only slave who was beaten, and Douglass was not the only child who grew up without a mother. The Narrative captures the universality of slavery, with its vicious slaveholders and its innocent and aggrieved slaves. Slave songs gave ...view middle of the document...

Double Consciousness: Double consciousness is a concept that Du Bois first explores in 1903 publication, “The Souls of Black Folk”. Double consciousness describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity. Du Bois spoke of this within the context of race relations in the United States. He asserted that since American blacks have lived in a society that has historically repressed and devalued them that it has become difficult for them to unify their black identity with their American identity. Double consciousness forces blacks to not only few themselves from their own unique perspective, but to also view themselves as they might be perceived by the outside world. This is what Du Bois spoke of in the above passage when he talked about “the sense of looking at one’s self through the eyes of others”
The Talented Tenth; “The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first of all deal with the Talented Tenth; it is the problem of developing the Best of this race that they may guide the Mass away from the contamination and death of the Worst, in their own and other races…” To express it in more basic terms, he contends that the best and brightest African Americans, the talented ten percent, must be managed advanced education if advancement is to be made. The ten percent will then constitute pioneers that successfully start change through their authority.

Color line; a prescient statement. Setting out to show to the “the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century,” Du Bois explains the meaning of the emancipation, and its effect, and his views on the role of the leaders of his race. Du Bois begins to rationalize the historical conflict and turmoil within the United States, upon the issue of race.

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