Friday, October 16, 2015

Terms of the Day for October 16

  • Double-consciousness – a term coined by W. E. B. Du Bois used to describe an individual whose identity is divided into several facets. Du Bois saw double consciousness as a useful theoretical model for understanding the psycho-social divisions existing within African American society.
  • Negro Spirituals – religious (generally Christian) songs that were created by enslaved African people in the United States.  Originally an oral tradition that imparted Christian values while also describing the hardships of slavery, this historic group of uniquely American songs is now recognized as a distinct genre of music.
  • The Birth of a Nation –  a 1915 silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr.  The film follows the lives of two families through the Civil War, the Reconstruction period, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • “Love and Theft” –  a term which refers to the tendency of certain cultures to be genuinely fascinated with aspects of another culture to the point of adopting some of that culture’s characteristics, albeit with a misinterpreted understanding of that culture.

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