Myers and DuBois by HC120916071037


									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:
• Background on DuBois:
                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: (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?
• 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
               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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