For a while now African Americans have been searching for acceptance among society. Through modernism, many of today's innovative ideas have developed. Modernism is a movement toward modifying traditional beliefs in accordance with modern ideas. However, if any of those new ideas were to perhaps come from the mind of an African American it would be shunned and never brought into mainstream by white America. This grip on the minds of African Americans led to W.E.B Du Bois' theory of double consciousness. Double consciousness is viewing oneself through the eyes of others. African Americans almost felt the need to censor their creative minds because of this. When white America releases their grip on the past and accepts African American ideas, American modernism will flourish.
The problem is generalized around American modernism. Other countries in the world have grown to accept African Americans as they have other ethnicities in the world. W.E.B Du Bois had a very modernistic perspective on the world. It didn't matter where he went in America because racism spread throughout the country like a plague. In his book, Dark Water: Voices From Within the Veil, Du Bois said, "I felt myself standing, not against the world, but simply against American narrowness and color prejudice, with the greater, finer world at my back urging me on. I built great castles in Spain and lived therein. I dreamed and loved and wandered and sang; then, after two long years, I dropped suddenly back into "nigger"-hating America! (9)" Most of white America has struggled with African Americans as people. So accepting their modernistic ideas was very farfetched. It was especially difficult for African American women. When born, African American women already have two strikes on their mantle. One strike being a woman and the second strike being an African American. According to Alison Ravenscroft of Australian Feminist Studies, "The New Critics in the1980s: theirs was a conservative modernism, envisaged as an almost exclusively white male practice.