Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)

Du Bois, W.E.B. “The Souls of Black Folk.” In

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Du Bois, W.E.B. “The Souls of Black Folk.” In Social Theory Re-Wired, edited by Wesley Longhofer and Daniel Winchester, 331-336. New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2012. (6)

From W.E.B. Du Bois to Ralph Ellison to Langston Hughes, the conflict of the African American has been present in Literature, Art and Social Theory for decades. Du Bois piece, “The Souls of Black Folk”, perhaps most perfectly, sums up the internal and external conflict of the African American race and the placement of societal norms on such a unique, historically tremulous, and beautiful culture. Du Bois examines the “double-consciousness” and “the sense of always looking at ones self through the eyes of others, measuring ones soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity”, a notion and idea which is not just a theory, but an aspect of daily life which prophets and kings like the ones listed above have been preaching for longer that one would expect64. The African-American “double-consciousness” is not history, and similar sentiments can be held true for Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, and any minority in the United States today. Du Bois’ statement, “the Nation has not yet found peace from is sins; the freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land”, perhaps is one of the most popular and historically world shattering phrases from his piece, as it comments on aspects of American history which some would rather sweep under the rug than admit that is still a persistent issue65.

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