The Soul of Black Folk is a 1903 work by African American sociologist, civil rights activist, and writer W. E. B. Du Bois. The work contains multiple essays on race and is viewed as a seminal piece of both American and African American literature.
In the work, Du Bois introduces the idea of “double-consciousness” and the “contradiction of double aims,” which explains that black Americans must keep two different but concurrent fields of vision at all times. This means that black people must be aware of how they view themselves but also aware of how the world views them. Essentially, black people must act as both Africans and as Americans, and this fragmentation distorts and impairs any of their inherent strengths.
For example, black people are always aware of how white America views them, so they constantly act in ways to disprove any stereotypes others may harbor against them. This inherently does not allow a black person to promote their strengths because they are forced to quell,...
(The entire section contains 4 answers and 984 words.)