Myers and DuBois HMXP 102 Dr. Fike Vocabulary in Myers and DuBois: • deprecate (Myers, par. 5) • peremptorily (DuBois, par. 2) • sycophancy (par. 2) • (Uncle Tom) • savant (par. 5) • cabalistic (par. 9) • inculcate (par. 11) • sturm und drang (par. 13) • dyspeptic (par. 13) Background information • Background on Myers: http://www.davidmyers.org/Brix?pageID=1 • Background on DuBois: www.duboislc.org//html/DuBoisBio.html W. E. B. DuBois • Dates: 1868-1963 • Fisk College in Tennessee (B.A.) • Harvard (M.A.) • University of Berlin • Harvard (Ph.D.); dissertation: The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in America • Eventually taught at Atlanta University (sociology) • "acknowledged as the father of Social Science" • 1903: The Souls of Black Folk • Part of the NAACP at its beginnings Group Activity: Understanding Myers • Three groups (10 minutes): Try to work with people whom you do not know well. Each group should summarize what Myers says about one of the following things and then report to the class. Find at least two key passages to support your position. If you finish your topic early, begin discussing one of the other topics. – Group 1: Community – Group 2: Prejudice – Group 3: Conformity Application of Myers to DuBois • How do Myers's ideas about community, prejudice, and conformity apply to DuBois's text (or not)? Stay in your groups and keep working and then report to the class. Whole Class: Understanding DuBois • Read par. 3 twice. • Let us work together now to establish definitions of terms that DuBois uses on : – “seventh son” (next slide) – "second-sight" – "self-consciousness" – "double-consciousness" – "twoness” “Seventh Son” • “The Legend states the 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' is the unborn one in the poetic sense, 'He' being preordained by his birthright too be a 'Maker of Things' endowed with gifts of 'second sight' 'predicting the future' 'healer' 'lucky' and a 'devil may care attitude' being referred to as the 'Divine One' or the 'Chosen One' who has a 'special purpose in life' for the 'Lord of Hosts' who is also cursed by the good & evil forces battling for his eternal soul.” • Source: http://www.mystical-www.co.uk/7son.htm (all errors are in the original text) Next Step: DuBois’s Allusions What allusions strengthen DuBois's argument? What do these allusions imply regarding the nature of human disillusionment? What power do they lend to DuBois's argument? • Par. 2: "The shades of the prison-house closed round about us all..." (Wordsworth's "Intimation Ode"). • Par. 6: “Emancipation was the key to a promised land of sweeter beauty than ever stretched before the eyes of wearied Israelites" (Exodus) • Par. 9: "...a pillar of fire by night after a clouded day" (Exodus 13) • Par. 9: "the mountain path to Canaan" (Genesis 12) • Par. 10: "In those sombre forests of his striving his own soul rose before him, and he saw himself,--darkly as through a veil..." (1 Corinthians 13). Large Group: Connection to Plato • What would Plato say about the following quotation (par. 12)? “Whisperings and portents came borne upon the four winds: Lo! we are diseased and dying, cried the dark hosts; we cannot write, our voting is vain; what need of education, since we must always cook and serve? And the Nation echoed and enforced this self- criticism, saying: Be content to be servants, and nothing more; what need of higher culture for half-men?” Connection to Lakoff and Johnson • We concluded that Lakoff and Johnson's work on metaphor supports the idea that "thoughts are things." In other words, how you think about something shapes your reality. • In the context of DuBois's work, then, black people are not only receiving objects but also acting subjects with the power to determine their own situation and destiny. Are there glimmers of this idea in DuBois's text? • Consider, for example, the following from par. 8: “…the shadow of a deep disappointment rests upon the Negro people,--a disappointment all the more bitter because the unattained ideal was unbounded save by the simple ignorance of a lowly people” (my emphasis). Whole Class: Critique of DuBois • Do you disagree with anything in his text? The Souls of Black Folk is over one hundred years old. Are DuBois's ideas still current? • Identify specific places in his text where you find things that are either accurate or questionable in terms of your contemporary experience. • For example, are African Americans still guilty of "often wooing false gods and invoking false means of salvation" (par. 5)? Connection to The Secret • How would you evaluate Myers's and DuBois's positions on "Diversity and the Other" (the section title in your anthology) in light of The Secret? Broadening • Although DuBois is writing about “black folk,” is it fair to say that the struggles he recounts are the story of all people, no matter what their specific race might be? • In other words, even if you are NOT a black person, is DuBois telling YOUR story too? Last Slide • How do you understand yourself better, no matter what race or gender you are, as a result of reading and discussing the texts by Myers and DuBois?
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