Saturday, February 12, 2011

Double Consciousness

Black Anthology's Double Consciousness show blew my mind. This was definitely the best written production I've seen at WashU.

Excerpt from the program: "Double Consciousness" references a term coined by W.E.B Du Bois which means the unique ability of African Americans to view themselves not only from their viewpoint but also from the viewpoint of others, namely white Americans. Likewise, the expectations of others cause individuals to morph behavior, personality, and mannerisms to fit others' image themselves, regardless of race or ethnicity. They, too, then battle with double-consciousness.

One storyline in particular hit a little close to home. Jordan, an African-American student who is so busy serving on four exec boards, sees his life crumble apart as he cannot fully dedicate himself to all his activities. His teammates lose their trust in him because he can never finish his part of a project because he's so busy running to all these different meetings. He comes home every night to his only friend, Jack Daniels. He becomes an alcoholic because he realizes that he cannot live up to the expectations that everyone has for him. He wants to be the perfect African-American man that has everything going for him, but falls short of that mask he wears. Though I am far from mirroring Jordan, there are definitely parts of my story that resemble his, especially feeling like I need to meet these lofty expectations of being the best, being perfect.

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