The Philosophy of the African American Identity Crisis: A Double Consciousness Exploration

Lydia Galbreath


Traditionally, racial identity research has concentrated on either the content of the identities that individuals hold or the development of the identities. However, due to the complexity of the African American origin, establishing a description and/or definition is difficult, which has led to the African American identity crisis. This paper looks thoroughly into the philosophy of African Americans’ identity crisis through exploration of the Double Consciousness Theory. Thus, this paper hypothesizes that due to African Americans’ double consciousness; numerous African Americans are in the midst of an identity crisis. The paper tests the hypothesis by thoroughly examining the Double Consciousness Theory and the role it has played on African Americans in the 21st Century. The research paper closely examines the theory throughout the 21st Century through a series of examples and descriptive analysis. The identity of African Americans is analyzed qualitatively, by using data collected through archival methods, and utilizing sources such as novels, scholarly journals, and internet sources. These sources were supplemented by expert interviews. Through detail analysis, the African American identity crisis is explained by the tenets of the Double Consciousness Theory.


African Americans, Identity Crisis, Double Consciousness

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