In the 1920s, the lives of African-Americans were strongly effected by racial prejudice emboldened by groups that advocated extreme points of view including enforced sterilization of minority ethnic groups. Langston Hughes wrote during this era. One poem he wrote in 1923 is "The Weary Blues." The first four lines
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
conflate the identities of the narrator and the musician, in fact it is not till the third line that we have any idea there are two individuals represented. By doing this, Hughes associates the narrator with the feelings and experience of the musician. Thus, when in the last lines the narrator says,
"And I wish that I had died."
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.
he is speaking of the musician and for himself. This can be taken one step further by recalling that when Langston Hughes wrote, he wrote of himself. Thus Hughes, the narrator, and the musician all share the same feelings and experience. This could very well be seen as Hughes' expression of Du Bois's double consciousness:
One ever feels his twoness,--an American, a Negro; two warring souls. (Du Bois)
On the one hand, Hughes is an educated American making a vital contribution and living a successful life: he is the narrator listening to the weary blues from afar, while, on the other hand, his identity is conflated with the singer of, the feeler of the weary blues. Thus Hughes has a double consciousness: at one and the same time he is a contributing respected American and an African-American man who possesses the weary blues "Coming from a black man's soul."