W.E.B. Dubois: "Double Consciousness and the Veil"

Text: Excerpt from first chapter of //The Souls of Black Folk//.
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  1. A fundamental question faced by some but not others: how does it feel to be "a problem"?
  2. An acquired awareness of there being two worlds, one of which I am of, and one not.
  3. Double consciousness: always simultaneously aware of being seen through eyes of others. Two selves.
  4. Question: how to merge double self, not losing either.
  5. This double consciousness has real effects on people who try to live a "normal" life as a person.
  6. Freedom was the dream…
  7. xx
  8. …but the promise was not delivered as expected.
  9. Post emancipation strategy shifted from new political power to seeking education and intellectual power, to do as whites do.
  10. A new realization that he needed to "be himself," not another.
  11. A component of prejudice based in real facts/values could be honored but the irrational residue beyond that is intolerable.
  12. Such prejudice undermines the self, but also makes the mission clear.
  13. Is all the "betterment" a waste? No, but it needs to be synthesized. A sense of whole people needs to be built.
    1. Seems to suggest that African-Americans need to become seen as a group along side other groups/dominant culture — a lateral sameness rather than hierarchical otherness.
  14. Trasnscending existence of any group as "a problem" is fundamental challenge to American principles.

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