W. E. B. Du Bois' famous reflections on the "peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others," has almost universally been considered applicable to a plight peculiar to the souls of black people. (Du Bois,1903) Initially constructed in the 1880's when psychology was yet in its infancy in America, this legendary contribution of Du Bois has become known to most readers by an essay appearing in the classic The Souls of Black Folk published in 1903. Du Bois' description of double-consciousness implied that such duality of vision was constant ("always looking at oneself") and shaped by the imperatives of color, a black self forever imprisoned in the negative projections of the white other.
"Cross-Cultural Explorations of Du Boisian Double-Consciousness: Jean Rhys and Jean Toomer,"
Contributions in Black Studies:
Vol. 9, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cibs/vol9/iss1/2