What are W.E.B Du Bois' views on the political status of African Americans post-emancipation?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

His theory on "double consciousness" explains a state of mind, a way of being, that results from being disenfranchised from American identity and therefore from effectiveness in the political sphere.  He feels that until an African-American person  can merge his sense of being African with his sense of being American--for he sees these as separate and constitutive of two disparate ways of understanding himself--until he can merge these, says Dubois, a black person will not be able to participate effectively in American society as a whole nor understand himself as a complete human being: he will always see himself within "the contradiction of double aims."

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The Souls of Black Folk

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