The Concept of Double Consciousness

Sur The African-American Spirit W.E. Du Bois coined the term double consciousness to mean that feeling when you look yourself from another’s person perspective especially when people view you as a problem. You find yourself being an American but still a Negro (Bell, Grosholz, and Stewart 57). Being a Negro, one tries harder to fit in the society. Back in the 19th century, the color line divide resulted in many blacks having a low self-esteem. Furthermore, this led to developing of stereotypes in the black community. Most of these stereotypes are negatively inclined towards the nonwhite community.
Race has a significant influence on trust issues. Race will influence how certain people process information and will likely influence the way they chose to interact with other races. In addition, most young black people grow up being taught with a lot of emphasis about how their ancestors went through racial discrimination. To them this creates a sense of their own identity (Nunnally 55). This historical knowledge of racial discrimination tends to affect how blacks associate with the whites and other groups. Older black folks have more experience in terms of racial discrimination than younger blacks do.
The concept of double consciousness still exists today even though it has taken a different look. The African Americans proclaim being victimized in public but stress on personal strength and initiative in private (McWhorter 13). Some black writers note that focusing on the achievement of African Americans seems to overlook the idea that being black is still a tragedy. The recent presidential election to some African Americans was more of a victory than an election in terms of racial discrimination.
Works Cited
Bell, Bernard, Emily Grosholz and James Benjamin Stewart. W.E.B. Du Bois on Race and
Culture: Philosophy, Politics, and Poetics. New York: Routledge, 1996. Print.
McWhorter, John H. “Double Consciousness in Black America”. CATO Policy Report No. 2
(2003). PDF File.
Nunnally, Shayla. Trust in Black America: Race, Discrimination, and Politics. New York: New
York University Press, 2011. Print.