DuBois, W. E. B

On Double Consciousness

On Double Consciousness -



On Double Consciousness


by W. E. B. DuBois

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.

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. ...

_____________________

Excerpted from the chapter "Of Our Spiritual Strivings" in his book The
Souls of Black Folk.


The Immortal Child

The Immortal Child - Title



The Immortal Child

by W. E. B. DuBois

If a man dies shall he live again? We do not Know. But this we do
know, that our children's children live forever and grow and develop toward
perfection as they are trained. All human problems, then, center in the
Immortal Child and his education is the problem of problems.

***

In the treatment of the child the world foreshadows its own future and faith.
All words and all thinking lead to the child,--to that vast immortality and
wide sweep of infinite possibility which the child represents.

***

Remember, too, that ... the ... child-mind has what your tired soul may have
lost faith in,--the Power and the Glory.

Out of little, unspoiled souls rise up wonderful resources and healing
balm...

--a power and impulse toward good which is the mightiest thing man has...

a great, moving, guiding ideal!

With this Power there comes, in the transfiguring soul of childhood, the Glory:
the vision of accomplishment, the lofty ideal. Once let the strength of the
motive work, and it becomes the life task of the parent to guide and to shape
the ideal; to raise it from resentment and revenge to dignity and self-respect,
to breadth and accomplishment, to human service; to beat back every thought of
cringing and surrender.

Here, at last, we can speak with no hesitation, with no lack of faith. For we
know that as the world grows better there will be realized in our children's
lives that for which we fight unfalteringly, but vainly now.

_____________________

Excerpted from the chapter "The Immortal Child" in his book,
Darkwater.