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W. E. B. Du Bois first proposed the concept of “double consciousness” in an article, “Strivings of the Negro People,” that was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1897. He later expanded upon this concept in his seminal 1903 work The Souls of Black Folk. Du Bois used the term double consciousness to describe how living in a racist and White supremacist society impacts the inner identity, psyche, and interiority of African-descended people. Writing during the decades of Jim Crow segregation, when the false promises of the Emancipation Proclamation had become clear, Du Bois used the metaphor of a veil to characterize racism so deep and intractable that it blocked all avenues to equality, citizenship, and participation in American society for African descendants. It ...

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