Too White for Blacks, Too Black for Whites
The eminent scholar, W.E.B. Du Bois, coined the phrase “double consciousness” 100 years ago to explain the social conditions and democratic contradictions of living with everyday racism(s) that Black Americans endure. A complex concept of multiple layers, Du Bois describes Blacks as having to navigate situationally driven responses and particular registers that vary with differing communities, and that certain responses are more highly valued within the white community. Du Bois felt the weight of this tension on his soul as he expressed the difficulties that Black Americans are faced with being too white for Blacks and too Black for whites. That tension has not gone away.