A peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness

Carolyn Ash
Denver, CO

In the opening chapter of his book The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois describes double consciousness as follows:

“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.”

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2 Responses to "A peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness"
  1. Vzeejhou says:

    A duplicitous environment, those Jim Crow laws!

  2. Sassyclassy55 says:

    I remember as a teen wanting to become a movie star.  I remember the day I realized that that was not a real goal for a dark skinned African American woman.  The realization happened when a teacher laughed at my career choice.  My first entry into the break down of the Black Self-worth wall by those of other races/ethnicity.  However, I had Mary, my mother, to pick me up and dust me off.  I had Ernestine Seaborn, Mr. Minnenberg and many others who said you can be whoever you want.  The mind of the African American is a two continent bridge, pride in our heritage and the evolution of being slave>Negro>African American but most of all human.  It is complicated to be a person of color.  For all of our middle class values to our ghettolicious lifestyles we are a people who are always creative, adaptive and forgiving.  So never underestimate the brother/sister who is Harvard educated, Wall Street savvy, Biochemist by day cause they can and will always have that African American Brotherman/Soul Sister inside and can reach down and pull him/her out.  Never underestimate our minds because of the way we dress or speak at any given time.

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