It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others. . . . One 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 being torn asunder.
Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor - all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked - who is good? Not that men are ignorant - what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.
The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world's need of that work. With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get. Without this - with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need - this life is hell.
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868 - 1963)
Source: To His Newborn Great-Grandson; address on his 90th birthday, 1958