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A Political Companion to James Baldwin$
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Susan J. McWilliams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813169910

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813169910.001.0001

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“A Most Disagreeable Mirror”

“A Most Disagreeable Mirror”

Race Consciousness as Double Consciousness

(p.19) 1 “A Most Disagreeable Mirror”
A Political Companion to James Baldwin

Lawrie Balfour

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter positions Baldwin in relation to W. E. B. Du Bois and also expands notions of consciousness to discuss Baldwin’s ability to reach across and beyond the color line. The essay draws on the Du Boisian notion of double consciousness in order to establish a sense of general race consciousness. In doing so, Lawrie Balfour, and in turn Baldwin, challenge the notion that white supremacy was extinguished with slavery. It is significant in establishing Baldwin’s simultaneous appreciation yet careful delineating of community.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, consciousness, race, white supremacy, slavery, community

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