W.E.B Dubois is an early African American sociologists who is devoted to seeking solutions to racism faced by the black culture of America. Most of his ideas and experiences as a member of the African American community are shared in his book, The Souls of Black Folks, in which two chapters from the book called, Of Our Spiritual Strivings & Of the Faith of the Fathers, are represented in this article. These two chapters primarily focus on the strengths and weaknesses of religion in resisting the forces of slavery and racism, and ultimately the oppression faced by the black culture of American society ..
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Throughout the article, Dubois coins a lot of important concepts and phenomenon in order to acknowledge the experiences that African Americans had to endure as an oppressed group in American society. He introduces this article by stating that the white community are always asking the black community how it feels to be a problem. Dubois starts off by telling a story of when he first realizes that he was a problem, and it was this incident that made him realize he was different and that he was excluded from the world of the white community by a vast veil. Dubois uses this as a metaphor to describe the color line that African-Americans would live with for life. They would always live with the knowledge that they were different, and that others would see them differently. Regardless of how hard they tried, they would never be able to rid themselves of this distinct difference. Essentially, the veil prevents white people from seeing black people as Americans, and from treating them as fully human. At the same time, it prevents black people from seeing themselves as they really are, outside of the negative vision created by racism. This was when he decided that he would dedicate himself to being better than the whites at most things in life in order to be superior. Instead of letting himself succumb to the injustices of the veil, he decided that he would pursue education as a way to empower him.
Throughout the first chapter, Du Bois keeps asking himself why God chose to make him a problem. He could not understand why the Negro was created in the shadow of all the other races; he says that the Negro is a sort of “seventh son” (DuBois 9), who was born with double consciousness and was always looking at himself through the eyes of others. The American Negro was not only a problem, but also, according to Du Bois, a symbol of struggle. This group was not only attempting to reach self-conscious manhood after years of captivity, but also trying to merge two conflicting identities into one ultimately better one. He argues that this task is difficult as black men are seen as weaknesses and they are faced with what he calls,
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