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Double Voiceness of African Americans Essay

  • Submitted by: jjkbeck
  • on September 2, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,676 words

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Below is an essay on "Double Voiceness of African Americans" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self
through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in
amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two
thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged
strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” W.E.B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk

According to Charles Bressler, African-American literature consists of something called
the “double voiceness-that African-American literature draws on two voices and cultures, the
white and the black.   It is the joining of these two discourses that produces the uniqueness of
African-American literature” (Bressler 218). In Olaudah Equiano’s Equiano’s Travels and Charles
Johnson’s Middle Passage, both authors address the horrific nature of the middle passage,
which was the triangular route of the trade of Africans into the Americas.   Yet, both authors
produce a different discourse on this subject, as both protagonists, within the stories, struggle
with “looking at one’s self through the eyes of others”, as Du Bois so eloquently wrote.   Bressler
also defines binary oppositions as the “western philosophy … of opposing centers, [in that] one
concept is superior and defines itself by its opposite or inferior center” (Bressler 111) It can also
be viewed, within the context of African-American literature,   in that binary oppositions are
indeed in affect and within those binary oppositions, an understanding can be found within the
two stories.   By examining the double voiceness, the double consciousness, and the binary
oppositions, found within the texts of the two books, a deeper understanding of the horrors
and the implications of those horrors of the middle passage may be achieved.

Beck 3
In regards to Equiano’s Travels, Equiano was a slave, kidnapped from his home, a...

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"Double Voiceness of African Americans". Anti Essays. 12 Dec. 2018


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Double Voiceness of African Americans. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatchstavki7.com/free-essays/Double-Voiceness-Of-African-Americans-507853.html