Double Consciousness and the American Narrative Essay

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The American Narrative includes a number of incidents throughout American history, which have shaped the nation into what it is today. One of the significant issues that emerged was slavery, and the consequent emancipation of the slaves, which brought much confusion regarding the identification of these new citizens and whether they fit into the American Narrative as it stood. In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B Dubois introduces the concept of double consciousness as “the sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others” (Dubois 3). This later became the standard for describing the African-American narrative because of the racial identification spectrum it formed. The question of double consciousness is whether …show more content…
Black people in America deal with this opposition in a number of ways, which leads to a split in identities between their African and American classifications, because maintaining a balance between the two leads to an internal conflict whose effects lead to deeper social issues. The unaccepting nature of the American identity poses similar problems among other races as they try to assimilate while at the same time struggle to retain their racial identity.
On one side of the spectrum is the black person who adopts the American ideal, who faces ostracization by other African-Americans who do not fit the same archetype. On the other side is the black person who is ostracized by society because of his individuality and deviation from the standard. President Barack Obama is a prime example of one such man. Despite his advancement to arguably the most powerful position in the world, he faces the issue of double consciousness on a more public, grander scale than the rest. Most people would look at the President and think that America has moved past its historical constraints by electing a black president, but it speaks to much more than that. Some African-Americans do not identify with the President because he has led a more privileged life. To them, he seems to have adapted to the more American side of the spectrum and abandoned his African-American identity. Dr. Cornel West, a prominent African-American member of the Democratic Socialists of America,

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