Discrimination on African American identity and self-image

discrimination on African American identity and self-image

Although Michelle Alexander and W. E. B. Du Bois are writing over a century apart, both are concerned with the impact of discrimination on African American identity and self-image. In his famous 1897 essay assigned for this week, Du Bois coins the term "double-consciousness" to describe a "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 feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two 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." In your Discussion Board post, I want you to first describe in your own words what you think Du Bois (who, you should keep in mind, is writing during Segregation) means by "double consciousness": why does he claim that the predominantly white world gives the African American individual "no self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world"? Then, keeping in mind the different historical contexts in which they are writing, I want you to show how Du Bois’s notion of "double consciousness" might apply to (or perhaps differ from) Michelle Alexander’s discussion of the psychological effects of mass incarceration in this week’s reading. To do so, you should focus in on a specific passage from pp. 161-77 of The New Jim Crow. Your response should be at least 250 words

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