Double Consciousness Speaks of the Dual Identity of Members of the African Diaspora

Topics: Black people, African American, Afro-Latin American Pages: 3 (929 words) Published: January 18, 2011
Double consciousness speaks of the dual identity of members of the African Diaspora who experience an internal struggle between their black heritage and the mark of the European that has been imposed upon them, whether by blood, through the rape of their ancestral mothers or by their forced immersion into an environment dominated by the European master. W. E. B. Du Bois is very explicit in presenting this conflict in his book, The Soul’s of Black Folk:

After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, 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 him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see 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 twoness,--an American, a Negro; two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. But double consciousness goes far beyond the simplistic definition that is dictated by our brutal past, as Paul Jay sites in his piece,“Hybridity, Identity and Cultural Commerce in Claude McKay's Banana Bottom”, there are current elements of the discourse on double consciousness that have been overlooked or not examined sufficiently. Jay examines two authors that support this view, namely, Robert Young and Paul Gilroy. They highlight the following: Robert J.C. Young notes in his work entitled Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race, “comparatively little attention has been paid. . . to the mechanics of the intricate processes of cultural contact, intrusion, fusion and disjunction" that characterize the development of culture wherever different social...
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