Author (Your Name)

Michael .. Yohai, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Philosophy Dept.


Jill P. Gordon


W. E. B. DuBois writes in his 1897 essay, “The Conservation of Races,” that every black person living in America must, sooner or later, ask herself the following question: “What , after all, am I? Am I an American or am I a Negro? Can I be both? Or is it my duty to cease to be a Negro as soon as possible and be an American?”1 DuBois’ question, “Can I be both?” still lingers for blacks and other non‐white groups in America. However, the racial demographic reality of the America is changing and with it, the connotations of the word “American,” will change. What remains to be seen is if America will take hold of the moment and actively pursue a new national identity, or if it will continue to deny this reality, propagate the myth of America as a white, Christian nation, and mire itself in conversations about the propriety of commercials in Spanish.


pluralism, race

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