Honoring Diversity: Self-Discovery and the "Voice of the Other" in Selected African American and Caribbean Works
This paper will examine the differences in self-concept between members of marginalized and dominant groups in racially and socially stratified societies as reflected in the writings of selected African American and Caribbean authors such as Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Dubois, Richard Wright, Maya Angelou, Jacques Roumain and Jean Rhys. This study will examine the construction of the "self" that these muted voices present to the world, focusing on the nature of the "double consciousness" that members of marginalized groups manifest and the masks adopted for self-protection. The tension between socially prescribed roles and personally defined ones are central to the study to the "voices" of the "other." Attention will be paid to the ways in which these "voices" serve to fill in the blank spaces in society's knowledge of itself by presenting what has been left out of the dominant picture. These "voices" are the conscience of the nation.
Keywords: Racial Identity, Ethnic, African American, Caribbean, College English Class, Literature and English, Minority, Diversity
Dr. Barbara Paul-Emile
Maurice E. Goldman Distinguished Professor of English, Department of English, Bentley College