Du Bois Racial Discovery

DU BOIS – RACIAL DISCOVERYINSTRUCTIONS:In The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois illuminates the experience of being black in the United States through two key concepts: the veil, which is about being marked as a stranger, outcast, or different, and living within prison walls; and double consciousness, which is about the feeling of having two contradictory parts, constantly looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, and possessing a particular perspective or viewpoint.The goal of this essay is to get you to think about your own racial identity, and to consider whether Du Bois’ concepts of the veil and double consciousness apply to you. Your essay should contain three parts:[1] Explain, in one or two sentences, the context or situation in which you first began to understand your identity in racial terms. Did other people, or a certain context, encourage your racial identification or impose a racial identity upon you? What event triggered your initial racial awareness?[2] How was your experience of racial discovery different from, or similar to, Du Bois’ own racial discovery (described on pages 1-2 of Souls of Black Folk)? Does the notion of the veil apply to your experience of racial discovery or subsequent experiences? Why or why not?[3] Do you feel a sense of double consciousness, as Du Bois understands it, in relation to your racial identity? Why or why not?Please address each of the three questions, in the above order and with a separate paragraph for each question. Be sure to provide concrete examples, based on your own personal experiences and feelings about your own racial identity.

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