The Children of Double Consciousness: From The Souls of Black Folk to The Brownies’ Book
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In The Souls of Black Folk W.E.B. Du Bois posits that the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line. Yet, in The Crisis “Children’s Numbers” and The Brownies’ Book, Du Bois confronts a new problem for the twentieth century: the question of how to raise black children in the face of disillusionment and despair. Collectively, Du Bois’s works for children respond to this problem by crossing the line that separates youth and age. The systematic dualities of innocence and violence in these writings represent a revised effort to guide the black child’s entry into double consciousness and to repurpose it as a model for a resilient black subjectivity beginning in childhood.