Early in the book DuBois refers to a “double-conscience” that is rooted in the lives of black America. This concept develops as a way to understand the spiritual striving for African-Americans. African-Americans struggled to create their own identity that embraced both their Negro and American ideals. Recognized as a sort of seventh son, Negros were continuously confronted with the realization that their own identity was not only defined by their measures, but also by the world’s eyes. DuBois states that the struggle to attain self-conscious manhood is in fact “the history of the American Negro” (DuBois 1903). This self-conscious manhood does not negate the two older selves....
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... caused the deterioration of the black community places ill-advised blame on that very subject. The black community and the American system both have a part in the failed state that many black communities are facing.
The dichotomy between leaders that are both striving for the same cause can be detrimental to achieving the goal. It is arguable that Booker T. Washington achieved more within his lifetime, however DuBois’ perspective was able to transcend generations. It has relevance in a society that still has not solve the color-lined problem. The split between the leaders may have curtailed any efforts that could have drastically shifted the black conscience during their time period. DuBois’ historical perspective has emerged as a reliable primary source for any individual that desires to understand America’s racial history shortly after the Reconstruction era.
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