Double Consciousness through the Ethics of Jim Crow Paper
Richard Wright, decades after W.E.B. DuBois wrote about Double Consciousness, highlighted the theory through the many events described in his autobiographical sketch The Ethics of Living Jim Crow. The essay is a collection of his experiences where he began to understand the difference of being an American and being an African American in America. His experiences illustrated how African Americans had to understand how they were perceived by Whites. Through Wright's experiences it was very clear the lessons learned and how it applied to Double Consciousness.
At a young age, just as DuBois, Wrightfirst learned that he was different and that there were rules to coexisting with Whites in America. From hisfirst lesson in his Arkansas neighborhood he learned that he was not supposed to fight with whites. His mother instilled in him a way to coexist or act with Whites, to take himself out of the equation. This was only the beginning; there were many more lessons to be learned. In the second lesson he learned the lesson of submission and that he must always use Sir or Mister while speaking to a white man. It is beginning to become painfully clear to him that because he is African American that he is not just an American, yet an African American in America.
The lessons that he learns are all lessons that many had to learn that gave them the sense that they were different. Over time Wright continues to learn the many lesson associated with the times of Jim Crow. The idea of Double Consciousness is to be able to separate yourself from the ideals and lesson learned and seeing that you are looked at differently, even if you do not understand why. When Wright wrote the note to the library saying: "Please let this nigger boy have the following books (1395)." it became clear that he was engaged in his own Double Consciousness. He understood that he was looked at as just a Nigger and that to gain strength he needed understand t…