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African American Identity and Double Consciousness, W.E.B. Dubois and Martin Luther King (Worksheet)

Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Activity


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In March 1968, only a few months before his death, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech to the SCLC entitled "A New Sense of Direction." In this excerpt, King discusses African American identity and consciousness during the 1960s Civil Rights and black power movements.

The excerpt from the speech makes an interesting comparison to W.E.B. DuBois' concept of double consciousness—the internal conflict of being both African and American—which he wrote about 65 years earlier in his 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk. 

This worksheet (*found here*) puts the excerpts side-by-side and allows students to think about how the Civil Rights movement and African American identity evolved from the early to the mid-20th century

Photo: Du Bois organized the 1917 Silent Parade in New York to protest the East St. Louis riots. CREDIT: New York Public Library


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