Paul Dunbar’s Use of Double Consciousness

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A 5 page research paper/essay that discusses this aspect of Dunbar’s poetry. The poetry and the life of African American Paul Laurence Dunbar exemplifies a condition that W.E.B. Du Bois referred to as “double consciousness,” which is a “historical self-awareness of African Americans struggling to overcome a legacy of slavery and discrimination while claiming the rights, responsibilities and benefits of freedom” (Mullen 277). As this indicates, Du Bois, specifically addressed the problem entailed by being both black and an American. Du Bois questioned if he could be both, and a similar ambiguity is expressed in Dunbar’s poetry. For example, in “We Wear the Mask,” Dunbar “ingeniously captures the ubiquitous racial patterns of masking, dissimulation and double consciousness (Gabbin 227). This examination of Dunbar’s vision of double consciousness looks at this and other examples of Dunbar’s exquisite poetry. Bibliography lists 6 sources.