Andre Hayslip
Eng 264-002
Kelly Ellis
Spring Midterm

In the early 1900’s W.E.B. DuBois told of an struggle that still goes on today. “ One ever feels his two-ness, --an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from been torn asunder.” This conflict is displayed in several characters we’ve studied in class, such as Joe in Sankofa, Pinky, and Aquanetta of Hollywood. I have also encountered these same types of problems in my life. In the film Sankofa, Joe there is a child born to a slave named Nunu. Nunu is a strong and respected woman on this plantation. Joe is born of two walks of life, his father is a white preacher. His struggle of being biracial and the difference in region was tough on him, especially back in those days it was hard as it as being just black. Both his mother and father had an effect on him. being that his father owned his mother, the influence of the preacher would be greater. Since he was one of the lighter blacks, he was treated better. He had to deal with being treated better than his mother. As he looked over and interacted with the slaves, he got bits of their religion and when he left them he was overwhelmed with Christianity as his father was teaching. These really tore Joe in half, such as when he took Nunu’s life and brought her into the sanctuary. Joe had to make the decision whether his mother or father was the correct influence.
In the film Pinky, this young lady had to deal with two ends of the color spectrum. her dilemma was of a different sort, pinky went away to nursing school that not many blacks attended. She played the “If you don’t ask, I won’t tell you” game. it was easier for her that way, but it is not right. You should never deny your heritage under any circumstances.Upon her return to her town from schooling, she was brought back to reality, no matter how well she could pass for white at college, she would always be Pinky at home. This situation was partially her fault for being true to herself. It is extremely important to realize and accept who you are before you try to do anything.
Another example of what W.E.B. DuBois was speaking of was displayed in the poem “ Acquanetta of Hollywood.” This woman has very big dreams , but lets the fame take over her entire life. Acquantette wanted so badly to be famous that she denied her family.

Acquanette of Hollywood
She must have imagined it
believed all these years that time would come
and she would be offered a final role
the only one she has never played
a Black woman with a family

To others she met, she had an invisible veil, but she could not fool herself. Pinky and Acquanette are very similar in that respect, the only difference was that Acquanette though she could not behave successful being associated with the black race. “Oh yes boys, furthermore, the resemblance is purely coincidental.” this sort of thing still happen. I on occasion ask people who does not look fully black, and what race are they. The general response I get is that they feel uncomfortable, some try to cover it up by answering quickly, but I look in their eyes and feel their insecurities. “ Acquanette of Hollywood is not alive is not dead is not who she is she poured everything out her little brown girl cup that sacredly we each are given at birth” Acquanette’s “two-ness” is reduced to either she is black or she is famous.


In my life there was also a “two-ness”. I live with a mother, father, and my sister. It is known that in America that the family lacks a father figure. I am lucky enough to have my biological father who cares about me and disciplines me when ever I got out of line. Early in my life, this “two-ness” came about. My first years of schooling were in a predominately white private Baptist school. In the third grade my actions were taken to public school. Being that the private school taught faster, I was ahead of