…It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
– W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks
The quote above, from W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folks, came to mind in the wake of the by now over-reported remarks Senate majority leader Harry Reid made about then Senator Obama.