Jason MacMaster AFAS 300 Essay #2 February 16, 2000 Two Ideals In One Dark Body One race, enslaved for hundreds of years and taken away from their homeland, only to awake in foreign territories completely conflicting with their racial and native cultural heritage. The Africana heritage is a deep, intrinsic one with roots tied to the earliest know human existence, but within today’s society, their ancestry has been created to be multi-cultural and shifted away from their original identity. But identity, with its prismatic and multi-layered dimensions which include racial, cultural, gender, national, and transnational ideals – is a precarious and contested category. The African identity wasn’t always this perverse or questioned. With the development of America, many different races were formed and rearranged to fit the norms and standards of the new land, which was thought to be superior. Do you think the Africana people wanted to be taken out of their land, out of their heritage, out of their culture, to assimilate within a society not like anything they had ever seen or probably wanted to see? Du Bois, W.E.B., a black American historian and sociologist, put it perfectly when he made a statement on the ambiguity of the black identity: “One feels his two-ness – An American, a Negro, two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals in one dark body.” This is describing the Africana experience within America and expressing an effort that black Americans were attempting to reconcile with their Africana heritage with their pride in being U.S. citizens. The pride, though in today’s society might hold true – was originally a forced pride in an attempt to declare that this was the land of the free and brave, but hey, for now you are the slaves with no rights. Africana cinema deals with all of these aspects within the films. Through the films, some express black identity with political struggl…
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