“The Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world—a world which yields him no self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in universal contempt and pity.”
“Strivings of the Negro People” (1897)
Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.