Identity Crisis Among African Americans

1618 Words7 Pages
Khyandria Celestine
Professor Sandra Staton-Taiwo
Identity Crisis amongst African Americans
17 November 2014
The question of self-identity has been commonly argued in field of the African American literature; with scholars such as Martin R. Delany and W.E.B Du Bois argue about the emphasis on race and racial consciousness. Together Du Bois and Delaney stress the importance of the color line, or the racial segregation in the United States, as a critical part of American history; nonetheless they both had completely dissimilar thoughts on the subject. Du Bois placed more emphasizes on double consciousness. He was concerned that African Americans put superiority of one part of their heritage over the other. On the other hand, Delaney argues that the major problem with identity is the separation and how it was derived from slavery. However, these arguments have not effectively addressed the issue of defining one’s identity. My paper addresses the issue of successfully identifying what we consider ‘African Americans’ with special attention to why there was once only Black and White with no shades of gray in America. Specifically, in my argument, I will be examining the monolithic labels, e.g. black, placed on people of African descendants, in order to show how history has failed to correctly identify ‘African Americans.’ I will discuss self-identity and consciousness, and juxtapose them against race and ethnicity, in order to reveal the previously misunderstood
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