Du Bois shaped this double-consciousness as a sense of racial awareness and the veil; it was within this metaphorical Veil that Black people faced oppression. In order to deal with oppression and themselves as a race, Negroes must become aware of the Veil. This point seems silly in that who would be unaware of their oppression; however, Du Bois speaks to years of Jim Crow, sharecropping, and tenant farming in which the Negro’s labor and welfare were exploited. Du Bois’s Veil was expressed in the literary piece, Invisible Man; here, Ralph Ellison introduces the American conscious to a Negro mind that becomes aware of why he was oppressed.
This declaration was made after Ellison and a white man accidentally collided on the streets of New York. As Ellison sought to help the white man up, he screamed nigger at him; in a sense of frustration, Ellison reached for his knife to stab the man. It was at this moment the Veil was lifted; he knew he was an invisible man. White society. Du Bois and other Black actors sought to challenge the normative process that white America could shape the Negro into a proto post-American slave.