Ferhana Shah. Dr. Neufeld And Dr. Slucki. Honors Colloquium

1565 WordsApr 14, 20177 Pages
Ferhana Shah Dr. Neufeld and Dr. Slucki Honors Colloquium in Western Civilization 14 April 2017 Transcending Double Consciousness in 20th Century America In The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois coins “double consciousness”, as a “peculiar feeling… this sense of always looking at one 's self through the eyes of others” (Du Bois I). He goes on to say that as a black person, “one ever feels his twoness—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body,” (Du Bois I). In other words, double consciousness refers to living with two identities that are at constant war with each other. For Du Bois, a black man can never simply just be an “American” or a “Negro”, for blacks will…show more content…
While Du Bois gives us a clear vision for his solution to dealing with these issues, by placing a strong emphasis on education as a way to escape the bonds of double consciousness, The Jazz Singer is not as explicitly clear. However, based on the film’s ending, The Jazz Singer does seem to suggest that the only way to lessen the burden of double consciousness is to confront the issue head-on by trying to mesh the two identities into one. Immigrants who come to the United States of America arrive from all corners of the world, and inevitably bring their own cultures, languages, dress, values, and beliefs with them. Jackie’s father, Cantor Rabinowitz, is no exception to this notion. While Cantor Rabinowitz may have no problems with wholeheartedly clinging to the traditions of his homeland, Jackie, as a first generation American, struggles to stabilize his conflicting Jewish and American roots. His Jewish upbringing in New York and his father’s expectation that Jackie will be a Jewish cantor constantly competes with his passion for singing jazz tunes and his dream of becoming a Broadway performer (Crosland). As mentioned earlier, according to Du Bois, African Americans have this same identity crisis: no matter what minority groups do to try to fit into the role of the standard “American”, they

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