60AC 10-24-18 slides.pdf - WEB DuBois The Souls of Black...

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WEB DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903) “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line .” “The Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil , and gifted with second-sight in this American world—a world which yields himself no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.”
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Double Consciousness 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. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn't bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. 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.
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WEB DuBois, Dusk of Dawn: Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1940) It is as though one, looking out from a dark cave in a side of an impending mountain, sees the world passing and speaks to it; speaks courteously and persuasively, showing them how these entombed souls are hindered in their natural movement, expression, and development; and how their loosening from prison would be a matter of courtesy, sympathy, and help to them, but aid to all the world. One talks on evenly and logically in this way, but notices that the passing throng does not even turn its head…It gradually penetrates the minds of some of the prisoners that the people passing do not hear; that some thick sheet of invisible but horribly tangible plate glass is between them and the world . They get excited; they talk louder; they gesticulate. Some of the passing world stops in curiosity; these gesticulations seem so pointless; they laugh and pass on. They still either do not hear at all, or hear dimly, and even what they hear, they do not understand. Then the people within may become hysterical. They may scream and hurl themselves against the barriers, hardly realizing in their bewilderment that they are screaming in a vacuum unheard .
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CULTURAL CONSTRUCTION OF RACE Rosa: “I never saw him. You see? There are
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  • Spring '14
  • BHAUMIK,SM
  • Negro, Africanize America

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