The Relavance Of The Souls Of Black Folks Nowadays
W.E.B Du Bois is a person who has gone through a lot of things in his life. From always being the problem in society to living a double life at times. He knew that being someone of color he had to find ways of coping in society dealing with non-colored people. Being that I am also someone of color we all must find a way to balance out both of our cultures. Many people during that time lived in a state of two-ness of double-consciousness. They had acted a certain way while being on the streets and act normally while being at home. The words Du Bois uses throughout the Souls of Black Folks still relates to how many people act today.
Furthermore, when reading chapter one you understand why Du Bois says he has a ‘double-consciousness.’ Being born African American in the 1800s and the 1900s was something very difficult they had to go through. They had to find ways to talk and live with white people and yet be able to have their same attitudes with African Americans. ‘Double-consciousness’ to me is one making it a goal for them to maintain a double life to where they can be accepted in both cultures. It is them trying to be able to get accepted in the white world and the African American world. Even though as time went on and they got some of their freedom they were still treated poorly. In the text, it states, ‘Whatever of good may have come in these years of change, the shadow of a deep disappointment rest upon the Negro people’. When he talks about this it shows how they still are not accepted in the world with white people no matter how hard they try to change their personality. Even though they were free they still did not have a place in society, and more discrimination was happening.
Du Bois feels that African Americans live in a state of ‘two-ness’ because he is bringing light into how they need to act and say certain things around white people to not get in trouble. Also, they must find their voices when being part of the African American community. I agree with this because African Americans cannot go down the street without being questioned or looked at. They have to change their attitudes the moment they have to step out of their houses and having to do that every single day is exhausting.
With that being said, I noticed how the story shows how people talked back then and how people talk now to African Americans are still the same. Back then when someone saw an African American the only thing that they would bring up to them was about race. In chapter one it states, ‘They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, how does it feel to be a problem? They say,’ (Du Bois, 1). When they would look at them with no emotion and with a judging attitude you knew that they are not trying to fix any problems that society puts on them. This shows that the problems with race in America always been pointed to African Americans being the social problem. Like today, when an African American person walks into a store people, stare at them or make comments to them thinking they’re going to steal or do something to the store. This shows that back then if African American people were treated with respect and a better work ethic they would not be living the lives they have today.
In the end, the way African Americans had to live this double life was something that they had to deal with and figure out how to deal with it every day. They are trying anything in their being to fit in both communities but they end up forgetting about who they are. When they are faced with the white people in their community, they had to completely change their attitudes just so that they would not be told something or have something happen to them. While we still see this recurrence in the world today of what Du Bois was stating in the book. White people only saw African Americans as a problem in the world and did not see past there race. In this world today many problems would have been solved if the way African American’s were treated differently so that the people today could have better and calmer lives. People in the world today still live in a state of ‘two-ness’ because they do not want to cause conflicts in their lives. From their lives, people had back then to know there has been a change in the way people of color are treated.
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