Consciousness in Black: A Historical Look at the Phenomenology of W.E.B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon

by Taylor, Jack A

Abstract (Summary)
This project grew out of a disappointment with the ways in which the thoughts of W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon have been treated in the past. Their thoughts on consciousness are not spared. It is my contention that some scholars, e.g., Ernest Allen Jr. and Paget Henry, have mistreated Du Bois’s thoughts on consciousness for at least one of the three following reasons: (1) they failed to adequately historicize the concept of “double consciousness” before Du Bois formulated his conception; (2) they tended to treat Du Bois’s philosophies solely as derivatives of (white) European philosophers (e.g. Hegel); and (3) have tended to provide static, anthropological interpretations of Du Bois’s double consciousness, despite the fact that Du Bois advanced many versions of double consciousness that transcend anthropological formulations. Likewise, the work of Fanon has been mistreated in a similar fashion. Some academics have come up short in providing a complete understanding to Fanon’s ideas on consciousness in a way that situates his thoughts historically, that is, in a way that shows the connection between Fanon and, say, Hegel, without treating him solely as a Hegelian. By historicizing Du Bois and Fanon’s thoughts, I intend to a) revisit these analytic and historical gaps, and b) mark not only appropriations of their intellectual predecessors, but also the radical advancements made by Du Bois and Fanon in the realm of existentialism and phenomenology.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:w e b du bois frantz fanon phenomenology consciousness double existentialism


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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