Black History Month 2012
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois "was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. Born in western Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a tolerant community and experienced little racism as a child. After graduating from Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909".
Knowing a little about him and wonderful, especially as a black female, but understanding his concepts and theories is the most important part. Du Bois came up with a theory called double-consciousness, in a monthly editorial published in 1987, he described it as, "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 two-ness,--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".
People, African Americans, perceive themselves through a world view instead of constructing their own positive views of themselves they inherently take on others perceptions. Du Bois believed that racism had become something that African Americans had internalized. The looked into the mirror, and did not see their own reflection, but the reflection that the world painted. As Americans, and Africans, they become conflicted by two positive and negative views, and act out.
This is still relevant in the Black community today. I don't consider myself an African American, but a West Indian American, and his theories can be applied to any ethnic group. I wish that I could say things had changed from then to now, but being different is still negative.
Since going live with this blog, I have never published a post for Black History Month. I should have though because I love my heritage, culture, and the beautiful black skin I am in.