Link for Chapter 11 Terms
Week 7 Discussion: More Complicated Than Identity
W.E.B. duBois, a classical sociologist, wrote of his and his peers' identity as black men in his seminal text, Souls of Black Folks. The following quote is taken from Chapter 1 of Souls of Black Folks, Of Our Spiritual Strivings. Here duBois identifies the concept of double consciousness in regards to being a black man, coming from a history of slavery and Jim Crow and among whites, and white standards of success. (Note that this was written in 1903, so you will find the antiquated term Negro in place of Black or African-American.) Carefully read this quote as you reflect on the idea of race and ethnicity as markers of difference and similarity within seemingly prescribed cultural expectations:
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 would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul 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.
Now do these 4 things:
1. Define at least 3 key terms from Chapter 11 in our text that apply to this quote.
2. Explain how these 3 terms apply to this quote.
3. Explain whether or not the concept of double consciousness resonates with your own identity or identities.
4. Explain whether or not the concept of double consciousness can apply to categories of identity other than race (gender, social class, etc.).
Click "Discussions" on the course menu and post your response as a "New Thread" on the Week 7 discussion forum. Your initial post must be a minimum of 250 words. Make sure your post shows evidence that you have completed and understood the readings for this week by using the theories/concepts that were covered and by adding quotes and examples from the text that help you answer the question.